Boeing [NYSE: BA] has received one of three development contracts to build a satellite payload prototype and develop a new secure, resilient satellite communications architecture for the U.S. Space Force’s Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program.
ESS will be a military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) system and is a critical component of the U.S. Space Force’s strategy. The initial ESS development contract is valued at $298 million. Contracts for the full ESS system are expected to be awarded in 2025.
Boeing’s support of the U.S. government’s SATCOM mission spans six decades and has since included programs that span air, land and space domains. The company’s secure MILSATCOM programs include extremely high-frequency payloads, the Wideband Global SATCOM constellation, the Protected Tactical Enterprise Service and Protected Tactical SATCOM program, which deliver survivable, secure and resilient communications to the U.S. military and its allies.
“We have worked closely with the Space Force to define a program responsive to our nation’s needs,” said Troy Dawson, VP of Boeing Government Satellite Systems. “By leveraging our expertise in digital engineering and technologies with synergies across both our government and commercial systems, we’re uniquely positioned to deliver solutions needed to address the ever-evolving threats.”
The Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program is the follow-on to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Satellite program and will be the next generation of protected communication satellites. ESS is interested in the possible development of new space-qualified communications payload End Cryptographic Units (ECUs). ECUs may require new ESS specific algorithms as will be prescribed by the National Security Agency (NSA).