WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force has awarded L3Harris Technologies $121 million to upgrade 16 secretive weapons that can jam enemy communications.
Under the contract, L3Harris will upgrade fielded Block 10.2 Counter Communications Systems, which can “reversibly deny satellite communications, early warning and propaganda,” according to the Oct. 22 announcement.
The systems are spread out over Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado, Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and classified locations. Work is expected to be complete by February 2025. The Space Force said the competition received two submissions.
While the military has had for years the Counter Communications Systems — the first iteration was delivered in 2004 — there is little publicly available information on the system’s technical capabilities. In 2020, the Space Force hailed an upgraded version of the system as its first offensive weapon system. L3Harris has been the primary contractor for both major upgrades to this point.
In a 2020 interview with C4ISRNET, L3Harris explained the transportable electronic warfare system as “a deployable system basically for counter communications.”
“Think of it as a platform that various custom missions run on,” said Praveen Kurian, general manager of L3Harris’ space control division. “It doesn’t permanently damage [targets], right? You’re talking about reversibly denying communications, and then when you shut down your system, you’re back to being able to operate.”
The company was awarded $72 million by the Air Force in January to sustain the system and develop another upgrade, dubbed Meadowlands, which will provide improved capabilities and a smaller form factor.
Nathan Strout was the staff editor at C4ISRNET, where he covered the intelligence community.