Boeing, Lockheed Martin Do Not Acknowledge TSAT Delay
Neither Boeing nor Lockheed Martin were notified by the U.S. Department of Defense of any delay in the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) program, despite the Pentagon’s press announcement that the contract award competition between the two companies has been shelved until at least 2010.
Lockheed Martin and Boeing both lead teams that are in competition for a $514 million contract for the program’s risk reduction and system definition phase, to culminate with a multi-billion dollar development contract to build TSAT’s space segment. The five-satellite constellation, originally planned to be available in 2015, is intended to provide the Department of Defense with high data rate military satellite communications and Internet services.
Pentagon officials announced Oct. 20 they had decided to halt the contract award competition, but the Department of Defense “remains committed to fielding a TSAT solution by 2019.”
Lockheed Martin is continuing with the program as normal, said spokesman Troy Scully. "At this point, we have not been officially notified of any change to the TSAT program,” he said. “We are prepared to begin full-scale development of this important capability to our armed forces. We have proven our technological readiness essential for introducing TSAT, including major risk reduction milestones for space based laser communication, next-generation processor/router capabilities, and a significantly enhanced satellite bus. We continue to stand ready to support our customer."
Boeing is not halting its TSAT program either. "Boeing hasn’t been officially notified of any changes to the TSAT program, either for the current risk reduction and system definition contract, or for the ongoing competition for the space segment development and production contract,” said spokesman Eric Warren. “We will continue to work with our [U.S. Air Force] customer as the acquisition proceeds, and we look forward to an award decision."