The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin $3.3 billion contract to support a suite of secure satellite communications systems over the next decade

Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will provide orbital operations, logistics and resiliency support services for three of the Air Force’s major anti-jamming satellite communications networks: the Advanced Extremely High Frequency, Milstar and Defense Satellite Communications System III programs. The programs represent three generations of satellite constellations designed to provide highly secure, anti-jamming, survivable communication for the military.

The full DSCS III constellation was launched in increments, with the first being launched in 1982. DSCS III satellites provide nuclear-hardened, anti-jam communications to users around the globe via wideband signals.

Consisting of five satellites, the Milstar constellation was launched between 1994 and 2003 to provide highly secure, survivable communications for military leadership. AEHF is a follow-on to the Milstar satellites, with just one AEHF satellite providing three times more capacity than the entire legacy system. The first AEHF satellite was launched in 2010, while the fifth of six planned AEHF satellites was launched in August.

The contract is not entirely unsurprising as Lockheed Martin is the primary contractor for all three systems.

The award was the result of a sole-source acquisition and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2029.

Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.

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