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US Space Systems Command RFPs are Imminent for Two New Satcom Programs

By Calvin Biesecker | April 16, 2024
      Lockheed Martin Ships Fourth AEHF Satellite

      The AEHF-4 and AEHF-5 satellites. Photo by Lockheed Martin

      COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.U.S. Space Systems Command will shortly release request for proposals (RFPs) for two new programs, Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications (ESS) and Protected Tactical Satcom (PTS), the official overseeing the programs said last week.

      The RFP for ESS is expected within two weeks and for PTS within a month, Cordell DeLaPena, program executive officer for Military Communications and Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, said on April 11 during a media briefing at the Space Symposium.

      Earlier in April, Space Systems Command issued a pre-solicitation notice, what DeLaPena called a “two-minute warning” to industry, for the ESS space vehicle development and production. That notice said the RFP would be published on or after April 22.

      The command has carried Boeing and Northrop Grumman to the prototype phase of the program but the upcoming procurement will be a full and open competition, he said.

      The ESS, which includes a separate effort for a ground system, will provide survivable and resilient satellite communications for nuclear command, control, and communications.

      The PTS is a follow-on to the Lockheed Martin [LMT]-built Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite constellation that the Space Force operates to provide secure, global, and reliable communications for high-priority military assets.

      This story was first published by Defense Daily