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York Space Systems Achieves Historic Milestone, Successfully Demonstrates First Ever Link 16 Technology from Space on Tranche 0 Spacecraft

Nov. 28, 2023

York Space Systems (York), announced the first-ever successful demonstration of Link 16 technology from space on its Tranche 0 (T0) satellites, a historic feat. In collaboration with the Space Development Agency (SDA) and a combatant command, this achievement marks a historic moment in advancing space-based communications for instantaneous global reach.

Link 16 technology has been a cornerstone solution for ground and air operations, supporting joint, NATO, and coalition warfighting efforts for decades. The realization of applying this proven technology to spacecraft for real-time, all-domain communication has been a vision since the 80s and 90s, and York's successful demonstration marks the fulfillment of that vision.

"We are proud to maintain our role as the most agile prime contractor to SDA as it revolutionizes rapid, dedicated space support to the COCOMs by deploying the most innovative solutions of state-of-the-art technology," said Dirk Wallinger, CEO of York. "This accomplishment not only cements our commitment to advancing space technology but also underscores our dedication to providing cutting-edge solutions for the evolving needs of global security. It reflects the collective expertise and relentless effort of the entire York team, driving us to new heights in shaping the future of space and defense capabilities."

The T0 satellite's full-duplex Link 16 communication capability represents a historic leap forward in space-based communication, ushering in a new era of 21st-century all-domain warfighting. A capability never before demonstrated from space. Similar to the revolutionary impact of the first cell phone to cell tower demonstration, this successful demonstration of Link 16 technology in space sets the stage for a paradigm shift in global communications.

"As the world witnesses the convergence of space and defense technologies, York stands at the forefront, pioneering advancements that make the world smaller and safer for fielded forces under fire," said Charles Beames, Executive Chairman, York. "This historic achievement highlights York's dedication to pushing the boundaries of space technology and reinforces its position as an industry leader."

York developed, delivered, and successfully launched nine satellites for Tranche 0 of SDA's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). SDA awarded York a $94 million contract in August 2020 to develop these satellites, making the time from contract initiation to first launch just over 2.5 years. York is also actively developing an additional 42 satellites for SDA's Tranche 1 (T1) of the PWSA, expected to launch in late 2024, an additional 12 experimental satellites as part of the Tranche 1 Demonstration and Experimentation System (T1DES) program, scheduled for launch in 2025, and 62 satellites for Tranche 2 Alpha, scheduled for launch in 2026.


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