The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has selected L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) to deliver the space hub end cryptographic unit (ECU) for the Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) SHIELD program.
The USAF PTS program will implement Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW) over a fully-processed satellite payload, enabling adaptive, anti-jam communications channels, which will provide the greatest level of protection available for tactical U.S. and coalition/international partner warfighting efforts. As the SHIELD contractor, L3Harris will develop an NSA-certified, space-flight qualified, production-ready ECU for future PTS payloads.
The L3Harris ECUs will support 13 space-based communications payload hubs that will serve up to 1,800 simultaneous tactical user terminals. L3Harris’ Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA) approach employs standards-based interfaces that minimize the information security boundary and simplify integration for the multiple payload providers. The ECU incorporates L3Harris’ HMV™ Space Cryptographic processor that supports full on-orbit reprogrammability in a low-power, highly extensible design. The MOSA form factor and innovative technical approach also results in a low SWaP solution for substantial cost savings due to reduced payload weight and hardware costs.
L3Harris was selected by the USAF based on its low-risk innovative solution and extensive experience developing Type 1 hardware for space applications as proven on the AEHF, MUOS and SBIRS programs. The SHIELD solution also benefits from extensive reuse of PTW technology from the PTS Field Demonstration Terminal Program to minimize development risk and support the USAF’s critical deployment schedule.
Don Hairston, President, C5 Systems, L3Harris, said the PTS SHIELD program continues the company's legacy of delivering cryptography solutions for the nation’s most important missions. It reinforces L3Harris' position as the leader in providing space-grade MILSATCOM cryptographic solutions and in the implementation of the Protected Tactical Waveform.
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