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U.S. Space Force awards $298 million military contract to Boeing
Paris, 4 October 2020. – Boeing received a $298 million contract from U.S. Space Force to develop a jam-resistant military satellite system, the company in El Segundo, California, announced on 1 October.
Boeing 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, the company said. ESS will be a military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) system. It is a critical component of the U.S. Space Force’s strategy.
Contracts for the full ESS system are expected to be awarded in 2025, Boeing said.
“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 aerospace company said. “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.”
An underrecognized yet critical segment of the space sector is downlinking. Launch vehicles and satellites capture most of the headlines, but in and of themselves they have little value. They are a means to an end: they enable the flow of data that benefits people back here on Earth. Put differently, downstream applications justify investing in and developing new launch vehicles and satellites.