The Defense Information Systems Agency has tapped 16 vendors to compete for task orders for “proliferated” low-Earth orbit satellite-based services.
The move came as the Pentagon and the Space Force increasingly looks to commercial providers for space capabilities, including those that use spacecraft in LEO.
The new awards, issued July 18, were facilitated by Space Systems Command’s Commercial Satellite Communications Office, DISA noted in a release on Friday.
“According to Space Systems Command, this multiple award contract model is a first for government SATCOM procurement and can deliver capabilities to the warfighter faster and at lower cost,” per the release.
The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts are part of a contracting vehicle with a total cumulative value of $900 million across a five-year period of performance, with one five-year option.
The strategy will allow the Pentagon and other federal agencies — as well as international partners — to “procure fully managed satellite-based services and capabilities for all domains (space, air, land, maritime and cyber) with a consistent, quality-backed, low-latency offering,” per the release.
Bidding for the initiative was intense and the Defense Department received 25 proposals from industry. Following a full and open competition, the following vendors were awarded: ARINC; Artel; Capella Federal; BlackSky Geospatial Solutions; DRS Global Enterprise Solutions; Hughes Network Systems; Inmarsat Government; KGS; Intelsat General Communications; OneWeb Technologies; PAR Government; RiteNet Corporation; Satcom Direct Government; SpaceX; Trace Systems; and UltiSat.
According to Space Systems Command, services under the contracts may include high-speed broadband, synthetic aperture radar imaging, space domain awareness, alternative positioning, navigation and timing, and others.
Updated on July 25, at 3:50 PM: This story has been updated to include additional details from Space Systems Command about the services that could be provided under the contracting vehicle.