SSC awards 16 contractors for LEO SATCOM services

By Apurva Minchekar / July 25, 2023 at 3:42 PM

On July 18, the Space Force awarded 16 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts for proliferated low earth orbit satellite-based services, Space Systems Command announced yesterday.

Proliferating satellite communication services in LEO is part of an overall DOD strategy to leverage resilience by diversifying orbits, the command noted.

“The face value of this action is $32,000 (a $2000 minimum guarantee to each contractor) funded by no year defense working capital funds, with a total cumulative face value of $900 million,” the announcement reads.

Unlike having a traditional one contract per mission, awarding multiple partners/multiple award contracts model is the “transformational strategy,” according to Clare Hopper, chief of SSC’s commercial satellite communications office.

While this strategy is a first for government SATCOM procurement, it guarantees to deliver capabilities to the warfighter faster at low cost and also enables the government and industry to collaborate easily and take advantage of rapid innovation in the commercial SATCOM sector.

“We continue to see game-changing advances in commercial SATCOM,” Col. Richard Kniseley, senior material leader of SSC’s commercial space office, said.

The contracts awarded by the Defense Information Systems Agency will cover the scope of service capability development based on satellites in LEO, not limited to high-speed broadband, synthetic aperture radar imaging, space domain awareness and alternative positioning, navigation and timing, the command said.

The contracts were awarded by DISA through the Commercial Satellite Communications Office, a central marketplace for SATCOM services operated by SSC, a field command of the U.S. Space Force, according to the announcement.

The command said 25 proposals were received from this full and open competition notified on, out of which 16 were selected.