Air Force trims communications satellite system

The Air Force has significantly cut back its Transformational Communication Satellite program and delayed the launch of the first satellite.

The Air Force plans to significantly cut back a satellite system that would allow the military to transmit large amounts of surveillance and intelligence information to warfighters on the battlefield, NextGov reports.

The $16 billion Transformational Communication Satellite system is not being scrapped, Gary Payton, undersecretary of the Air Force for space programs told reporters in a conference call last week. Still, the service has delayed the launch date of the first satellite and has issued a new draft request for proposals at a bidders conference with Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

To make it more affordable, the Air Force dropped some capabilities, such as the requirement the system include Ka-band satellite transponders that can transmit high-speed data to terminals with an antenna about 1.5 feet in diameter.

NEXT STORY: Great changes, timeless lessons