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Space Force selects vendors for LEO satellite services

SpaceX Starlink satellites. Credit SpaceX
SpaceX Starlink satellites. Credit SpaceX

London, 26 July 2023.- The US Space Force announced on the 24th of July that it has selected 16 companies that will compete for low Earth orbit satellite service contracts. The vendors will compete for up to $900 million worth of task orders over the next five years under an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract. Each contractor has been guaranteed $2,000.

The sixteen selected vendors are ARINC Inc.; Artel LLC; Capella Federal; BlackSky; SES Space & Defence; Hughes Network Systems; Inmarsat Government; KGS LLC; Intelsat General Communications; OneWeb; PAR Government; RiteNet Corp.; SatCom Direct Government Inc.; SpaceX; Trace Systems Inc.; and UltiSat Inc.

The contract for LEO-based satellite services is run by the Space Systems Command’s Commercial Satellite Communications Office (CSCO). CSCO is part of the Space Systems Command’s new commercial services marketplace named the Commercial Space Office. The IDIQ is a “multiple partner/multiple award” contract model that requires vendors to team up.

“This approach promises to deliver capabilities to the warfighter faster and at lower cost compared to traditional ‘one contract per mission’ partner/task order,” said Space Systems Command.

Task orders will be awarded for a wide range of services, including high-speed broadband, synthetic aperture radar imaging, space domain awareness, and alternative positioning, navigation and timing.

“This is a transformational strategy that will allow government and industry to partner more quickly and more broadly to take advantage of the rapid innovation that’s happening in the commercial SatCom sector,” said Clare Hopper, head of the CSCO office.

The vendors were competitively selected from twenty-five received proposals.

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