Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered the payload module for the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (EHF) military communications satellite ahead of schedule to the Sunnyvale, Calif., facilities of Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for the Advanced EHF program.

Integrated with Lockheed Martin’s A2100 space vehicle structure, the payload module consists of the complete set of processing, routing and control hardware and software that perform the satellite’s communications function. The equipment includes approximately 20 electronics units and more than 400,000 lines of software code.

“Our team is proud of the early delivery of such a sophisticated satellite communications payload,” said Alexis Livanos, president of Northrop Grumman’s Space Technology sector. “There are two primary reasons for this success. First, we have a government-industry team that is experienced in developing protected satellite communications systems, and second, our team applied early and effective risk management processes that have matured over many years on these types of systems.”

Through the use of advanced technologies and designs, Advanced EHF satellites will provide approximately 10 times more communications capacity and six times higher channel data rates than its predecessor, Milstar II, in a much smaller size.

“Successful delivery of the payload module is an important milestone for the team and is another major step in our march to the launch pad,” said Leonard F. Kwiatkowski, vice president and general manager of Military Space Programs at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “Advanced EHF will provide greatly improved secure, high-speed communications to U.S. and Allied Forces around the globe, and we look forward to achieving mission success for our customer.”

Lockheed Martin is now preparing to deliver the spacecraft bus electronics and integrated propulsion module in late February. With the propulsion module and payload in place, the team will begin final assembly, integration and test in preparation for launch in April 2008.

Technologies and products developed for Advanced EHF are directly applicable to other military satellite communications programs, such as the Transformational Satellite Communications System and the Enhanced Polar System, providing a substantial reduction in risk and cost to those programs. “The products, an experienced team and proven processes from Advanced EHF will continue to serve us well on future military satellite communications programs,” noted Stuart Linsky, vice president of Satellite Communications for Northrop Grumman Space Technology.

The Advanced EHF communications system will provide global, highly secure, protected communications for warfighters serving under the U.S. Department of Defense. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., is under contract to provide three Advanced EHF satellites and the mission control system to its customer, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing, located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.