Pentagon Awards Iridium $738.5M for Services in Low Earth Orbit Constellation

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  • 11:44 AM, September 16, 2019
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Pentagon Awards Iridium $738.5M for Services in Low Earth Orbit Constellation

Iridium Communications Inc.  today announced that it has been awarded a $738.5 million, seven-year, fixed-price contract with the US Department of Defense through the US Air Force Space Command (AFSpC) to provide unlimited satellite services from its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation. 

Through what is known as the AFSpC’s Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) program, Iridium will continue to deliver access to global secure and unsecure voice, broadcast, netted or Distributed Tactical Communications System (DTCS) and select other services for an unlimited number of DoD and associated DoD-approved subscribers. 

Under the current fixed-price contract, the EMSS program has increased its adoption and utilization of Iridium services, while the capabilities delivered have also evolved over time from simple telephone voice and data to broadcast, multicast and other Internet of Things (IoT) services.  Over the course of the previous contract period, DoD subscribers grew from approximately 51,000 to more than 125,000, a 145 percent increase. 

“Iridium’s EMSS contract serves as a model for how commercial operators can deliver critical satellite managed services to the warfighter” said Scott Scheimreif, Executive Vice President of Government Programs, Iridium.

In support of the EMSS program over the past 20 years, Iridium and the DoD have jointly developed an operational environment that provides the critical network transparency and collaboration to enable successful execution of the warfighter’s mission. The company was one of the initial six industry participants in the Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) to engage with USAF’s Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) in an effort to improve information sharing and network situational awareness as the DoD continues its use of commercial satellite networks. This now includes the ongoing transition of EMSS, along with all commercial SATCOM services, from the Defense Information Systems Agency to the USAF.