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Posts Tagged ‘Acquisition’

U.S. Military Satellite Communications: Taking the High Ground with X-band SATCOM

On Saturday, March 18, the Department of Defense successfully launched the ninth of ten military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) satellites known as Wideband Global SATCOM – Nine (WGS-9) into orbit, bringing significantly more X-band and Ka-band SATCOM capacity into the hands of the U.S. Department of Defense and the militaries of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the…

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Satellite Communications and Security Cooperation: Achieving All-Weather Global Resiliency, Interoperability, and Affordability – by Working with WGS

Background.  On December 7, 2016, the US Air Force launched the 8th of 10 planned Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites into orbit, from Cape Canaveral in Florida.  This latest WGS satellite marks a technological leap forward for the WGS constellation, bringing more X- (and Ka-band) capacity to the Department of Defense.  X-band is also an…

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Smaller, Lighter, Further: All-Weather, High Endurance Reconnaissance and the X-band UAV

Small UAV manufacturers, take note: your efforts to build smaller, lighter UAVs with longer range and higher endurance are not going unnoticed.  Time for a quick primer on what the established competition already knows: UAVs are Size, Weight and Power-limited (SWaP-limited) applications, and thus operate better in X-band – and the reason is simple physics involving (a) X-band’s…

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DoD Acquisition Reform, Silicon Valley Innovation, and What These Should Tell Us about the Future of Satellite Communications

After years of watching struggling defense acquisition reform initiatives while simultaneously lauding the agility, responsiveness, and successes of U.S. industry (perhaps most notably, Silicon Valley companies), it is clear that the Department of Defense needs to transition from a traditional “you-buy-it, you-live-with-it” military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) architecture towards an agile, responsive, commercial-based satellite communications (COMSATCOM) solution to meet our…

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Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and X-band Satellite Communications (SATCOM): A Long Overdue Marriage of Sorts

The U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, authorized under Section 3 of the Arms Export Control Act, specifically authorizes the sale of defense articles and services to foreign military and government end users.  In a similar fashion, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has set aside certain bands of the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum, most notably X-band,…

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Why won’t DoD see the light?

Commercial satellite operators can justly claim a portion of credit for the successful DoD missions in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade and a half, and before that during the Balkans conflicts. We’ve reallocated transponders by the dozen, steered beams from other regions into Southwest Asia (SWA) and the Middle East (ME), moved satellites…

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Ensuring Stability in the Asia-Pacific Region

Is There a Viable Business Case for Commercial Satellite Coverage without a Conflict? While there are currently no full-scale conflicts or natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific theater, it is widely agreed that this region is the most susceptible in the world to both types of events. Nation states there are gaining considerable economic, military and…

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Brazil’s MILSATCOM is a Dominating Presence in Latin America

We recently attended SMi’s inaugural Milsatcom Latin America conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and found the country to be the perfect location for SMi’s first foray into the region. Brazil is one of the most forward facing countries in the region in space leadership and attendees were able to catch a glimpse of the…

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Time Again for the UK Ministry of Defence to Be Brave

In 2003, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) contracted with then-Paradigm to build and operate the Skynet 5 constellation through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Speaking boldly, the UK government displayed unprecedented bravery and vision to enter into an arrangement with industry for its critical secure network communications capability. Commercial operators and manufacturers can offer…

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