Space Force wants $248M to kickstart new jam-proof SATCOM constellation | Space

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The Advanced Extremely High Frequency System (AEHF) satellites for encrypted military communications. (US Space Force photo)

WASHINGTON — As part of the Space Force’s complex strategy to ensure warfighters on the battlefield can stay securely connected in the face of ever-improving adversary electronic warfare systems, Space Systems Command wants to begin rapid development of a new satellite communications (SATCOM) constellation in fiscal 2025 — with hopes of starting initial operations on orbit in 2028.

The Space Force is asking for nearly $248 million in FY25 research, development, test & evaluation funding for the new program, called Protected Tactical SATCOM-Global (PTS-G), according to the service’s budget justification documents released Monday evening. Another $310 million is planned for FY26. (The effort is designated as Project No. 643722 under the larger Program Element (PE) 1206761SF budget line for Protected Tactical Service.)

“PTS-G is a moderate degree of assured access communications across military Ka-band and X-band using a disaggregated and proliferated sets of lower-complexity satellites. Space Systems Command (SSC) will develop the PTS-G space and ground systems to provide worldwide assured-access communications for tactical warfighters,” the documents explain.

“Initially, PTS-G will provide capabilities in select regions. PTS-G will target a solution that can provide worldwide coverage,” the documents add.

Maj. Gen. Michael Greiner, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for budget, told reporters on Monday that “there will be separate satellites” placed in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) for X-band and military Ka-band communications.

“I think initially right now our plans are for four space vehicles,” he said, but noted that the number “could change over time,” because “we are just getting started on that program.”

The Space Force last January put out a request for information (RFI) from industry to explore…

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