Northrop Grumman delivered the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications payload to Lockheed Martin four-and-a-half months ahead of schedule, according to a Dec. 8 company release. A new hybrid satellite integration and test approach chartered by the Air Force and prime contractor Lockheed Martin provides for an “an overall reduction in program cost and schedule,” said Stuart Linsky, vice president of communication programs at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “We fully expect to see these savings on flights 5 and 6 as well.” The payload’s capability includes anti-jamming, low detection and probability, rapid recovery during a nuclear event, the ability to operate through scintillation, greatly reduced risk from physical attack to ground systems, and significant cyber safeguarding, states the release. “We expected the hybrid approach to give our team more flexibility and efficiency, and it has exceeded our expectations,” said Mark Calassa, vice president of protected communication systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
As the U.S. continues to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Russia over its troop buildup on the Ukraine border, the Defense Department is looking into what capabilities it will need to reassure NATO allies if Russia does launch an invasion, its top spokesperson said Jan. 21.