Northrop Grumman [NOC] completed an Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) of the production, deployment, and initial sustainment phase for the U.S. Air Force’s Enhanced Polar System (EPS) Control and Planning Segment (CAPS), the company said on Nov. 24.

EPS is set to deliver secure, continuous, space-enabled communications capabilities to polar region users in support of U.S. national objectives through the use of satellites operating in highly elliptical orbits. EPS CAPS provides telemetry and control, mission planning, and cryptographic planning for the EPS payload.

Focusing on the technical baseline, the IBR assessed the resources allocated to EPS CAPS and explained how anticipated risks would be tracked and managed.

It contained an assessment of potential risks associated with the program’s technical performance, cost, schedule, and resources. The reviewers unanimously decided the program can be carried out with resolution of actions and adherence to risk management measures, according to a company statement.

The Northrop Grumman program previously completed an IBR during the design and risk-reduction phase.

EPS is planned to replaces the present interim Polar System and is an adjunct to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (EHF) system for protected satellite communications (SATCOM) services to Department of Defense users.

The EPS includes EHF communications payloads, modified Advanced EHF communications terminals, a gateway to provide connectivity into other communications systems, and the Global Information Grid (GIG).

“The Northrop Grumman team in partnership with the MILSATCOM customer have worked very hard the past several months to ensure this second IBR shows the program is ready for this next phase. I’m confident the team has a clear path for success ahead,” Linnie Haynesworth, vice president and general manager of the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance division at Northrop Grumman, said in a statement.

Future EPS CAPS milestones were set to concentrate on software development, segment tests, and system tests with other EPS segments over the next two years, the company said.

Northrop Grumman was awarded the EPS CAPS contract in November 2012. The base contract, for segment design and risk-reduction efforts, was completed earlier in 2014. The current contract phase includes the next 48 months to complete CAPS development, deployment, and initial sustainment.

The Air Force’s Military Satellite Communications Systems (MILSATCOM) directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., is acquiring EPS and EPS CAPS.