Boeing's prototype for the Space Force's Protected Tactical Satellite Communications program has cleared its critical design review, the company announced today.
One of the prime contractors for payload development tied to the effort, Boeing first received a $191 million contract from the Space and Missile Systems Center in early 2020 to mature technology for the program.
A year later, Space Systems Command officials opted to move forward with Boeing for integration and testing, awarding the company a $15 million contract modification for work to be completed by March 2024. That in turn paved the way for the December CDR.
The program is planning for on-orbit demonstrations following a 2024 launch, Boeing’s press release noted. In the meantime, the company is poised to kick off host vehicle integration and testing next year.
“Our scalable software-defined payload will be able to accommodate and grow to meet the needs of any mission, and it can be hosted on commercial or government platforms,” Troy Dawson, Boeing’s vice president of government satellite systems, said in the release.
Northrop Grumman was also selected last spring to move forward with the rapid prototype push.
A Northrop spokesman said today CDR for the company’s prototype was completed in fall 2021.