The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center signed a $191 million contract and $240 million contract with Boeing and Lockheed Martin, respectively, as the final payload development awards for Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) acquisition, Feb. 28, 2020.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin will join Northrup Grumman as the three prime contractors for PTS payload development. All three will use sub-contractors that are non-traditional, keeping with the culture of the Space Enterprise Consortium.
“We are thrilled to add Boeing and Lockheed Martin to the PTS effort,” said Col. Dennis O. Bythewood, program executive officer for space development. “The technology maturation and prototyping effort conducted under SpEC will allow SMC to harness the innovation of partnerships between traditional defense and non-traditional/small business contractors with a projected on-orbit capability three years earlier than a traditional acquisition.”
PTS is the space component of the Protected Anti-jam Tactical SATCOM family-of-systems architecture that will provide resilient, worldwide, beyond line-of-sight, anti-jam communications to our tactical warfighters, resulting in improved combat effectiveness and fewer combat losses. The PTS rapid-prototyping spiral will focus on demonstrating the modularity, scalability, hostability, and operational utility of the payload.
PTS is a SMC pacesetter program, demonstrating new processes while delivering rapid capabilities, and supporting SMC’s commitment to radically reducing time from acquisition to warfighter utilization.
This effort uses the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act Section 804 – “Middle Tier of Acquisition for Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Fielding,” and the FY 2016 NDAA Section 815 – “Amendments to Other Transaction Authority” to achieve an affordable, rapidly delivered, operational capability for tactical warfighters.
The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, Calif., is the U.S. Space Force’s center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. SMC’s portfolio includes space launch, global positioning, military space vehicle communications, defense meteorological space vehicles, range systems, space vehicle control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.