The Space and Missile Systems Center has transferred its fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite to the new Space Operations Command. Both the center, known as SMC, and the command, known as SpOC, fall under the new U.S. Space Force. Operators from SpOC at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, will now retain control authority for the key military satellite communications capability, the center reported on February 12.
As cyber threats continue to grow, so does the reality that digital satellite communications can be degraded and denied either through digital or electromagnetic means. If these capabilities are compromised, however, high frequency radio provides a means to continue communicating even beyond the line of sight by leveraging the ionosphere to refract radio signals back to earth.
The International Communication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector designates the high frequency (HF) range as between 3 megahertz and 30 megahertz. While this method of communication was utilized extensively up through the 1990s, it began to lose traction in the military when the availability of satellite communications (SATCOM) increased.
The U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center is harnessing advanced satellite communication technology from the private sector through the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) 11+ platform and its Pathfinder effort. The WGS-11+ effort is centered on capabilities that will provide more coverage beams, beam-formed bandwidth and frequency re-use than existing legacy systems, according to a release from the center known as SMC, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base.
For the last year, the U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, known as SMC, has been revamping how it does business. As part of the service’s Space Command, SMC is at the helm of the military’s satellite communications and is confronting a contested space environment as well as a need to innovate faster. As such, the SMC is pursuing a reorganization it has dubbed SMC 2.0, which involves shifting its contracting and decision-making approaches to improve the nation’s defense-related satellite communications.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, California, was awarded a $92,839,119 modification to increase the total ceiling to the previously awarded Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) cost-plus-award fee contract (N00039-04-C-2009) for engineering services, interim logistics services, spares and associated material. MUOS is a narrowband military satellite communication system that supports a worldwide, multiservice population of users, providing modern netcentric communications capabilities while supporting legacy terminals. Work will be performed in Scottsdale, Arizona (90 percent); and Sunnyvale, California (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by October 2020.
The United States is facing a strategic inflection point in terms of how it will pursue satellite communications in an increasingly contested, degraded or operationally limited space environment. In response, the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center developed an overarching effort, dubbed SMC 2.0, spearheading agile acquisition, reorganizing internally and harnessing innovation to keep the military and the country safe from adversarial attacks.
LinQuest Corp., Los Angeles, California, has been awarded a $37,149,798 modification (P00078) to contract FA8808-13-C-0009 for systems engineering and integration support to the Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) Systems Directorate. The contract modification is to provide support for MILSATCOM's emerging programs. Work will be performed in Los Angeles, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2019. Fiscal year 2018 research and development; operations and maintenance; and space procurement funds in the amount of $17,990,676 will be obligated at the time of award. Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity
The Defense Department has reached a turning point in satellite communications (SATCOM) acquisition and deployment. On one hand, it is transitioning SATCOM from narrowband to wideband to keep up with ever-accumulating voice, video and data consumption. On the other, the budget forecast for the foreseeable future does not cover the replacement or addition of military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) systems, except for those within existing programs of record.
LinQuest Corporation, Los Angeles, has announced that the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in El Segundo, California, awarded a $29 million, cost-plus-incentive fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to its existing contract. With this option, the total value of LinQuest's Military Satellite Communications Analysis, Systems Integration, and Engineering Services (MASIES) contract for system engineering and integration support services increases to $154.8 million. Simultaneously, the SMC decided to exercise the MASIES contract’s first option that goes through June 30, 2015.
Integral Systems Incorporated, Colorado Spings, Colorado, was recently awarded by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center a more than $13 million contract modification to its Command and Control System-Consolidated contract. Under the terms of the contract modification, Integral Systems will continue to provide its EPOCH Integrated Product Suite to simplify operations by consolidating satellite ground systems. The contract, first awarded in early 2002, enables a unified command and control capability for the 50th Space Wing's complete family of military communications satellite programs.