The Air Force is sticking with longtime architect LinQuest for engineering assistance of its communications satellites, even as the Pentagon considers radical modifications to its space architecture.
LinQuest doesn’t develop the satellites themselves; however, under the $562 million, seven-and-a-half-year deal, the corporate provides engineering, integration, and solution help for satellite techniques and architecture. LinQuest was one of two firms to submit offers for the contract.
The MILSATCOM contract covers support for the Superior Extremely High-Frequency satellite system, which provides secure, anti-jamming communications for the army and the Wideband Global SATCOM system, in addition to the AEHF subsidiary program covering the Arctic, the Enhanced Polar System.
Beres said the brand new contract does not differ considerably from the services LinQuest was already offering. However, it arrives at a time when the Pentagon is restructuring its space group and rethinking its strategy to the national safety space architecture. Most notably, the Trump presidency is working to ascertain a sixth branch of the army dubbed the Space Force that may take over lots of the Air Force’s space-linked activities. Less discussed; however, notable, the Air Force has started restructuring its major space acquisition unit, Space and Missile Systems Facility, and the Pentagon has formed the Space Development Agency to design a brand new architecture for national security space satellites.
It’s not evident at this point whether this new web network would take in MILSATCOM programs if followed; however, the ideas and skills behind SDA’s vision are further informing the next-gen of army communications satellites that LinQuest will help build under the brand new offer.
The next-gen model will break into two, with one payload supporting strategic missions and a second payload supporting tactical purposes. By disaggregating techniques like this, the cost of shedding a single satellite is partly decreased and communications are made more flexible.