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L3Harris Nabs Estimated $1.7B In Space Force Contracts

L3Harris Nabs Estimated $1.7B In Space Force Contracts

The GEODSS facility at Diego Garcia is one of three operational sites world-wide. The facility tracks known man-made deep space objects in orbit around earth.

WASHINGTON: L3Harris is on a roll with new Space Force contract announcements this week touting two separate awards worth up to $1.7 billion over the next 10 years.

Yesterday, the company announced a 10-year deal, worth as much as $1.2 billion, to modernize and sustain the ground-based telescope network, known as GEODSS (Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance), that are key nodes in the military’s Space Surveillance Network for tracking satellites. This year’s tranche is worth $23 million, the company said.

GEODSS, operated by the 21st Space Wing, consists of three locations — White Sands Missile Base in New Mexico, Maui in Hawaii, and Diego Garcia — each with three 1-meter telescopes.

L3Harris has been supporting the GEODSS system for 17 years, under a contract initially awarded to Harris prior to its merger with L3 in 2002. As first reported by colleague Sandra Erwin, the new contract expands the work to support space domain awareness at the military’s space surveillance and command and control centers in Colorado, California and Virginia.

Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) also announced March 27 that L3Harris was one of two companies to receive a $500 million award for development and production of Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW)-capable modems better able to resist jamming. The other winner was Raytheon.

The new anti-jam modems are part of the Air Force and Army Anti-Jam Modem (A3M) program, SMC explained. Designed as a tactical alternative to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite network, the PTS program is budgeted in the 2021 DoD request to Congress at a whopping $2.4 billion through 2025.

Now being developed by the Space Force,  PTS was launched by the Air Force in 2018 as part of the larger Protected Anti-Jam Satellite Communications (PATS) family of systems, a follow-on effort to the AEHF for classified-level communications. Under the concept, AEHF would be reserved for strategic communications, such as nuclear command and control; whereas PTS is aimed directly at operators in the field. The Army in particular has long complained that current milsatcom networks simply to do not provide enough bandwidth for soldiers, to the point of considering buying its own satellites as Sydney and I reported back in August.

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