SSC announces Evolved Strategic SATCOM prototype awards

Space Systems Command awarded two competitive prototype demonstration agreements for the Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) Framework and Integration portions of the ESS ground segment, known as GRIFFON (Ground Resilient Integration & Framework for Operational NC3) on May 1. The prototype agreements, valued at $30 million each, leverage the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) Other Transaction Authority (OTA), which allows small businesses and other nontraditional vendors to form innovative teams to create cutting-edge technology and deliver capability into warfighter hands at a faster pace than acquisitions under the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

The ESS system will provide the survivable and endurable satellite communications capability for the Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3) mission in all operational environments. It will provide space and control segments for worldwide arctic DoD strategic, secure and jam-resistant, survivable communications for ground, sea and air assets around the world. ESS is the first DoD hybrid space program that is leveraging alternate acquisition pathways for each of its segments.

The ESS Space Segment is leveraging a Middle-Tier Acquisition down-select rapid prototyping contract for the ESS payload and spacecraft bus, with Boeing and Northrop Grumman in a side-by-side competition until Fiscal Year 25. The GRIFFON segment is leveraging a series of Software Acquisition Pathway contracts for subsets of mission capability in agile software sprints. The entire ESS program is designed to develop and deliver cutting edge technology to be fielded by innovative industry teams and allowing development to stay ahead of changing strategic needs.

While ESS Space continues its prototyping demonstrations with Boeing and Northrop Grumman, ESS Ground awarded contracts to two combined vendor teams. The teams are comprised of Team Lockheed Martin and Team Raytheon.

“By openly competing modular software applications that integrate into a cyber-resilient architecture, awarding contracts to teams of vendors working together to create a cohesive industry ecosystem, and developing it all with side-by-side end-user engagement, we ensure that not only will capability be delivered faster, but we’d also enable the ground system to be more easily updated in the future,’ said Lt. Col. Laila Barasha, GRIFFON materiel leader. “Software is never complete, so acquiring it modularly gives us flexibility for iterative agile updates that are responsive to user needs. Industry teams focused on innovation will be able to develop and deliver the ground capability faster for future generations of warfighters.”

Source: Space Systems Command

Stay in the know with breaking news from across the IC and IC contracting landscape by becoming a paid subscriber to IC News. Your support makes our work possible.