The Program will provide protected communications services to U.S. forces operating in the northern polar region. I
The FY1993 program included funding for a then-undefined "polar adjunct" to Milstar and continued preparations for a Defense Acquisition Board program review of that adjunct.(1) The department re-examined the timing of its need to replace aging ultra high frequency on-orbit capabilities and was able in 1993 to defer the decision to begin development of a Milstar-compatible polar adjunct.(2)
In October 1994, the DoD identified an immediate need for protected polar communications, and in Jully 1995, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) validated the Polar MILSATCOM ORD which contained the interim requirements. In July 1995, the Defense Acquisition Executive reviewed the Polar program and approved execution of an interim program to place a modified Extremely High Frequency (EHF) payload from the Navy's UHF Follow On (UFO) system onto a host satellite to provide limited requirements satisfaction while pursuing a long term solution.
In August 1996 the Joint Space Management Board (JSMB) addressed
that long term solution by approving proposals from the DoD Space Architect to "sustain EHF
Polar capability through about 2010 (24 hours)". Accordingly, in FY97 the Air Force is initiating
planning and design for a second polar package to be launched in FY02. Air Force planning and
costing for polar package number 3 to replenish polar number 1 is underway.
1. Department of Defense, Report on the Bottom Up Review, October 1993, page 66.
2. Department of Defense, Report on the Bottom Up Review, October 1993, pages 65-68.