Northrop Grumman was among the first to be awarded a contract for PTS, and the company said this week it planned to conduct a flight demonstration of its system sometime in 2024, after the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) gave it the green light to continue with the development.
For the flight test, Northrop Grumman said it plans to include the payload into a “host space vehicle and conduct its on-orbit demonstration.”
“Our digital engineering approach has enabled the rapid pace of our analysis and demonstrations, which have validated that the Space Force can deliver significantly enhanced anti-jam performance to the warfighter,” Cyrus Dhalla, vice president of communication systems at Northrop Grumman, said in a statement.
According to the contractor, the preliminary design peer review of the prototype ended in December last year. This particular PTS will come with what is described as advanced anti-jam SATCOM links for the moment, and it will be part of an integrated system with space and ground components.
Aside from Northrop Grumman, PTS hardware is also developed by Lockheed Martin and Boeing. When ready, whatever solution the Space Force chooses will comprise several geostationary satellites with these payloads.
The stated goal of the new hardware is to have American warfighters connected with one another “in a data-hungry battlespace” without having to worry about jamming.