Space Force selects four contractors to develop FORGE C2 prototype

By Apurva Minchekar  / November 10, 2023

The Space Force awarded Ball Aerospace, Parsons, General Dynamics and Omni Federal $9.75 million each to develop new prototype ground systems for missile warning satellites, according to an announcement issued yesterday.

The Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution Command and Control prototype will build a foundation for a “government-owned, cyber-secure Modular Open Systems Approach” for missile warning satellite command and control, according to an announcement by NSTXL, which manages Space Systems Command’s Space Enterprise Consortium.

The four contractors were awarded through the consortium’s other transaction authority to develop the prototype over a 16-month performance period.

“The use of the SpEC other transaction authority provided the SCC team access to innovative technology that isn’t otherwise available with traditional contracting methods,” Mike Malinowski, SpEC director, said in the announcement.

NSTXL noted this award is Phase 1 of a multiphase project focusing on building, integrating and delivering a missile warning C2 system.

“This project will leverage existing capabilities while integrating modern software practices, laying the essential groundwork to command and control the Missile Warning enterprise,” NSTX added, that will include Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared and Space-Based Infrared Systems assets.

The Next Gen OPIR program is a vital piece of the Strategic Missile Warning and Nuclear Command, Control and Communication system.

In June, House appropriators raised their concerns on the Space Force’s proposal of canceling Next Gen OPIR Geo-3 spacecraft, noting, “The committee is troubled by the lack of analysis to support the proposal to cancel the GEO-3 spacecraft, especially given its importance to the NC3 mission.”

At the same time, the Space Based Infrared System program provides the service with global surveillance capabilities to support early missile warning, missile defense, battlespace awareness and technical intelligence mission areas.

The SBIRS Block Buy was also ranked as one of the highest-performing space programs by the Air Force in a report sent to Congress in February.