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U.S. Space Force Conducts Satellite Anti-Jamming Demonstration

By Frank Wolfe | March 9, 2023

Pictured is an artist rendering of the eleventh and up Boeing Wideband Global SATCOM satellites (Boeing Image)

U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC) said on March 8 that it demonstrated ground-based anti-jamming satellite communications via a Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW) connection between a Protected Tactical Enterprise Service (PTES) joint hub and a test terminal, and a link to a PTW-capable modem developed by the U.S. Army Airforce Antijam Modem Program Office.

Charlotte Gerhart, SSC’s tactical SATCOM acquisition delta chief, said in a March 8 statement that the demonstration shows the initial anti-jam satellite features “augment the current wideband constellation” to improve DoD’s ability “to stay connected in contested environments.”

“SSC’s PTES team conducted the demonstration, which took place at the Joint Satellite Engineering Center in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and included a demonstration of crypto initialization, acquisition and logon key and mission management, and performance monitoring,” SSC said on March 8.

In 2020, SSC’s predecessor, the Space and Missile Systems Center, awarded Raytheon Technologies and L3Harris contracts to develop PTW-capable modems under a $500 million-ceiling, Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract.

PTES by Boeing and Hughes Network Systems aims to provide military forces with a joint ground platform for protected communications through the Boeing Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellite constellation, commercial satellites and future Space Force Protected Tactical Satellites running PTW, an advanced beam-forming technology to provide anti-jam capabilities in electromagnetically contested spectra.

SSC said that PTES is expected to reach initial operational capability next year when the 11th WGS satellite is to launch.

Boeing noted on March 8 that it is also the prime contractor for the Mitigation and Anti-Jam Enhancement (MAJE) “geolocation and adaptive nulling upgrade” for WGS.

This story was first published by Via Satellite sister outlet Defense Daily.