A Growing Military Bandwidth Acquisition Problem

 “We must also establish alternative acquisition paths to get innovative capabilities to our warfighters in a matter of months, not decades.”

— U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, John McCain

In response to the risk of insufficient SATCOM capability to meet National Security objectives, and in context of the challenging budgetary environment, Congress has appropriately placed increased attention on the ways in which DoD plans for and procures commercial SATCOM.  

Further, given the escalating concerns about counter space capabilities and intentions, additional attention has been placed on DoD’s use of satellite assets that are owned and/or operated by countries of concern. According to Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall:

“Because of concerns about the survivability of our space assets we’re looking at a wide range number of alternatives to the way we currently do business…  One of the things we have to look at is, can we effectively disaggregate by relying more on commercial systems. We have to be sure they’ll be available in wartime, that we’ll have the capacity we need.”

SES Space & Defense is working closely to ensure that Congress allows timely and affordable access to space for all U.S. Government end users. As part of the effort, SES Space & Defense came together with industry partners to publish a paper titled “The Seven Ways to Make the DoD a Better Buyer of Commercial SATCOM.” These include:

  • Establish a baseline of how much COMSATCOM the DoD needs, and then budget and contract for it.
  • Develop accurate comparisons of the cost of commercial vs. the cost of military SATCOM.
  • Use IDIQ contracts only to supplement baseline requirements.
  • Build an architecture that fully integrates commercial and military capabilities.
  • Partner with industry to build protected communications infrastructure for space systems.
  • Use Hosted Payloads.
  • Have a single office that handles all commercial and military satellite capabilities.

To contact our Vice President of Government Affairs, please fill out our Contact Us form and select “Government Affairs” in the list of options.


For more information call 703-610-1000.