U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC) may issue a solicitation for a “Hemisphere” contract under which SSC could pursue five task orders for industry to aid SSC in weapons’ development and sustainment.

“The scope of this Performance Work Statement (PWS) is to provide Advisory and Assistance Services (A&AS) to develop, advance, and sustain weapon systems for Space Systems Command (SSC) Space Domain Awareness and Combat Power (SDACP) (SSC/SZ), Battle Management, Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) (SSC/BC), and their mission partners,” SSC said in an Aug. 31 business notice.

“SSC/SZ-BC provides highly classified Space Domain Awareness systems, defensive and offensive space control capabilities, and space test range assets to meet current and
projected Department of Defense operational requirements,” the notice said. “SSC/SZ-BC develops, integrates, tests, deploys, sustains, and supports operations for systems that meet strategic and tactical operational needs. SSC provides unrivaled space systems to ensure survival for both the United States Space Force and our nation. These systems span the entire acquisition life cycle. This contract will support multiple SSC/SZ-BC programs, as well as various other Space Force, Air Force, and mission partner programs.”

While Space Force has not disclosed the development of any offensive, kinetic programs, the service has revealed several non-kinetic counterspace efforts, including COLSA Corp.’s Bounty Hunter system, a ground-based system providing satellite communications interference detection, which achieved initial operational capability on Aug. 7, 2020, and the Counter Communications System (CCS) Block 10.3 Meadowlands system by L3Harris Technologies [LHX].

SSC said that 300 full-time employees from multiple contractors are working on efforts similar to Hemisphere, but declined to name the incumbents.

The Hemisphere pricing matrix includes 112 positions, many of them engineers and acquisition/finance specialists in Colorado Springs and El Segundo, Calif., where SSC is looking for a contractor to provide two Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs) or Special Access Program Facilities (SAPFs).

More than 30 companies, including Science Applications International Corp. [SAIC], Booz Allen Hamilton [BAH], BlueHalo, Parsons Corp. [PSN] and KBR, Inc.‘s [KBR] KBR Wyle Services, LLC., participated in a Hemisphere industry day on Feb. 28.

DoD leaders have been pushing to increase the resilience of space systems, in part by moving toward using a large number of low Earth orbit and medium Earth orbit satellites and away from the acquisition of a limited number of large, costly satellites–“big, fat, juicy targets” in the words of retired Vice Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. John Hyten (Defense Daily, May 18, 2022).

“The very fabric that we operate our space capabilities within is vulnerable to attack and ill-suited for a warfighting domain,” said Charles Galbreath, a senior resident fellow for space studies at the Mitchell Institute for Space Studies and the author of a recent institute paper, Building U.S. Space Force Counterspace Capabilities: An Imperative for America’s Defense. “The Space Surveillance Network [and] the Satellite Control Network—both have significant gaps and do not provide 100 percent connectivity or awareness of threats in space all the time. Neither one of these is actually suited for the warfighting domain of space.”