San Diego Viasat Inc. has signed a deal to provide the U.S. Special Operations Command with satellite networking and communications.
It is a sole-source deal — which is a coup for Viasat — and the contract could be worth as much as $350 million over five years, depending on what the customer orders. And there could be more to come.
Under the deal, Viasat (Nasdaq: VSAT) will provide advanced networking and communications equipment and systems, as well as services and support.
The Special Operations Forces took a hard look at what Viasat was providing and validated it. Going forward, the equipment and services will enable new concepts of operations (or conops, in military-speak).
As for specifics? The Viasat announcement was understandably vague about those.
It did include a statement from U.S. Army Gen. Raymond Thomas III, commander of the special operations command, from recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “While we are fully committed to winning the current fight, we are simultaneously working to prepare for the conflicts of tomorrow,” Thomas said. “We are always searching for improvements and relentlessly pursuing our next advantage.”
Viasat said its new deal — an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract — is flexible: “structured to expand and evolve over time, keeping pace with rapid technology advancements in [the] mobile networking, cybersecurity and broadband satellite communications technology sectors.”
Specifically, the new contract will “significantly modernize” ground/air situational awareness, tactical data links, terrestrial networking, ISR (an abbreviation for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), tactical satellite communications, information assurance (that is, the assurance that the information in front of you has not been hacked), network management and cybersecurity for special operations forces.
Viasat, which offers satellite hardware and services to government, commercial and consumer markets, is based in Carlsbad.
Earlier in January, Viasat said it received a contract to upgrade NATO’s UHF satellite communications control stations to a next-generation waveform. Financial terms were not disclosed. The upgrade will double channel efficiency and double the number of users, the company said.