WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $3.3 billion contract for support services on classified military communications satellites, the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced Nov. 15.
The 10-year indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract is for operations and support of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF), Milstar and Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) III constellations.
These satellites provide nuclear-hardened, anti-jam global communications to the White House, the State Department and military users, and they support the nation’s nuclear command and control system. AEHF also is used by U.S. allies Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The Air Force consolidated the support work for AEHF, Milstar and DSCS constellations under a combined orbital operations logistics and resiliency contract. Lockheed Martin has been the prime contractor for this program since 2009. The $3.3 billion award was not competed.
Lockheed Martin has delivered five of six AEHF satellites the Air Force procured. The first one was launched in 2010 and the fifth vehicle reached orbit in August 2019. They are manufactured at the company’s plant in Sunnyvale, California. The final AEHF satellite, AEHF-6, is currently in full production and is expected to launch in 2020.
Milstar and DSCS are legacy satellites. The first DSCS III satellite was launched in October 1982, and the last one in August 2003. Of the 14 satellites launched, seven are still operational, according to an Air Force factsheet.
There are five operational Milstar satellites. The first one was launched in 1994 and the last one in 2003.