The control segment of the Air Force’s future satellite communications system to enable secure communications to and from the North Pole passed its last major review before production, Northrop Grumman announced. The Enhanced Polar System Control and Planning Segment passed its integrated baseline review demonstrating “the program is ready for this next phase,” said Linnie Haynesworth, company vice president for ISR, in a Nov. 24 release. The EPS consists of two extremely-high frequency, jam-resistant tactical communications payloads hosted on third-party satellites, a gateway system that translates the signal to interface with other communications and the control segment. The control segment operates and monitors the health and functioning of the satellite payload, and compiles operational data to ease maintenance and sustainment, according to the system’s factsheet. Northrop Grumman delivered the EPS payloads to Air Force Space Command early last year, and EPS is scheduled to begin operations in 2018. (USAF factsheet)
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.