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Northrop Grumman Delivers 2 Arctic Satellite Broadband Satellites Ahead of Launch

By Rachel Jewett | June 21, 2024

The Northrop Grumman-built ASBM-1 and ASBM-2 satellites at the company’s satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. Photo: Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman delivered the two satellites in Space Norway‘s Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM), the company announced June 21. The satellites are scheduled for launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California as early as mid-July.

The mission brings together an interesting coalition of partners between domestic and international, commercial and government – Space Norway, the Norwegian Armed Forces, the U.S. Space Force, Viasat, and Northrop Grumman. These satellites will bring commercial broadband and protected military satellite communications to the hard-to-reach northern polar region.

Onboard the satellites are the Enhanced Polar Systems-Recapitalization (EPS-R) payloads for the U.S. Space Force, built by Northrop Grumman. It is an extremely high frequency milsatcom system to provide communications for U.S. forces operating in the Arctic region. The satellites also have an X-Band payload for the Norwegian Armed Forces, Viasat’s GX-10a and GX-10b Ka-band payloads, and a Norwegian Radiation Monitor payload.

The mission, led by the Space Norway subsidiary Heosat, will be deployed in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO).

“ASBM pioneers a new path for hybrid government-commercial missions,” commented Brandon White, vice president and general manager of Tactical Space Systems for Northrop Grumman. “Northrop Grumman’s work with ASBM showcases our decades of on-orbit experience and end-to-end space technology expertise, delivering coverage to one of the most hard-to-reach regions of the globe.”