Image: USAF, 2d Lt Jacob Lutz, AFRL/RV
The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2022, which begins on the first of October, requires the Secretary of the Air Force to provide a briefing to the Armed Services Committee about establishment of a new PNT constellation.
Specifically mentioned is the Air Force’s Navigation Technology Satellite 3 (NTS-3) program. Cited in the language are the fact that is features a “…steerable, high-power phased array antenna coupled with a digital signal generator that can be reprogrammed on orbit, enabling operators to quickly deploy newly developed, advanced signals as they encounter electronic threats.”
Also noted is that “NTS-3 will be working on PNT enhancements such as experimental antennas, flexible and secure signals, increased automation, and use of commercial assets.”
The briefing is also to include “… a detailed funding, development, procurement, and launch plan..” and talk about how satellites can be rapidly deployed to meet emerging electronic warfare threats.
We find the mention of commercial assets and rapid deployment to be particularly interesting. Unfortunately, the briefing will undoubtedly be classified. But we would love to be a fly on the wall.