WASHINGTON — Boeing received a $298 million contract to build a satellite payload prototype and develop a secure communications architecture for the U.S. Space Force’s Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program, the company announced Oct. 1.
The ESS will replace the existing Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites made by Lockheed Martin.
Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin will be developing competing designs for the ESS program.
Each company is building prototypes to be completed by 2025. Like AEHF, the new ESS program is intended to provide secure, jam-resistant communications for high-priority military operations and national command authorities.
Boeing is a longtime supplier of military communications satellites. It is the prime contractor for the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) constellation, and is also working on the Protected Tactical Enterprise Service and Protected Tactical Satcom programs. These programs are developing survivable, secure and resilient tactical-level communications for the U.S. military.