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Northrop Grumman to integrate space-based internet for AFRL

Northrop Grumman Corporation has won a contract of undisclosed value from the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to integrate commercial space internet into airborne platforms, advancing connectivity for warfighters and supporting the Department of Defense (DoD) vision for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2).

The company says this capability will enable the warfighter to securely share data and synchronize operations within milliseconds around the world; use open architecture, configurable systems to rapidly integrate into airborne platforms and ground vehicles; and provide affordable options for resilient connectivity using commercial space internet constellations across multiple orbits.

This Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet will provide the DoD with affordable, resilient solutions capable of operating in Low, Medium and Geostationary Earth Orbit (LEO, MEO and GEO). Northrop Grumman’s open systems processors and antenna solutions will be tested as part of this contract award to bring beyond line-of-sight capabilities to air and ground forces

“We need communications that will be available for the warfighter in any environment. This program will accelerate these technologies onto many platforms across the joint force because that’s how we fight and that’s how we want to operate,” said Dr. Brian Beal, principal aerospace engineer, Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation Office, Air Force Research Laboratory.

“Achieving decision dominance across domains is essential for the warfighter. We are at a pivotal moment to build a diverse network using commercial space internet that can be used on any platform globally,” said Jenna Paukstis, Northrop Grumman’s vice president, communications solutions.

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