Air Force selects SES Space and Defense to power ABMS next-generation battlefield command and control system

The U.S. Air Force has awarded SES Space and Defense, a multiple-award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract to compete for task orders under a $950,000,000 ceiling to deliver the bandwidth and connectivity necessary to power the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), the military’s next-generation, multidomain battle management command and control system.

As part of the IDIQ contract, SES Space and Defense is tasked with the maturation, demonstration and proliferation of capability across platforms and domains, leveraging open systems design, modern software and algorithm development in order to enable Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2).

According to the Air Force, “…the ABMS will be the backbone of a network-centric approach in partnership with all the services across the Department of Defense…that will allow U.S. forces from all services—as well as allies—to receive, fuse and act upon a vast array of data and information in all domains at the speed of relevance.”

This command and control network will connect all forces in theater – as well as all military sensors and sources of information – to give decision-makers unprecedented and timely battlefield insight while delivering advanced network-enabled capabilities to the warfighter.

“Modern warfare demands data and information at the edge, anywhere on earth,” Chief of Space Operations, Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, recently explained to Charles Pope, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs. “Potential adversaries are investing heavily in these fields, and we must exploit new approaches to sustain the advantage. We are exploring how to use JADC2 and ABMS to link sensors to shooters across all battlespaces, at speed, and under threat. Maturing these concepts and capabilities is necessary to fight and win in the information age.”

The IDIQ contract with SES Space and Defense will enable the Air Force to leverage the extensive SES multi-orbit and multi-band fleet to experiment, develop, and test data and connectivity capabilities from satellites at Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO). The ability to leverage high-throughput satellites (HTS) at GEO and MEO will deliver fiber-like connectivity to the battlefield, while providing additional resiliency and redundancy to mission-critical satellite communications.

“As the need for technology and data on the battlefield increases, so does the need to access resilient and robust high-performance connectivity from anywhere in the world,” said President and CEO of SES Space and Defense, Brigadier General Pete Hoene, USAF (retired). “The growing amount of sensor data, connected devices, and cloud computing done remotely at the tactical edge demands high throughput, low-latency connectivity that only a multi-orbit satellite solution can provide. By having the potential opportunity to be awarded task orders against this IDIQ, we’re excited to enable technological advancement at ABMS and keep our military at the forefront of innovation.”

The selection of SES Space and Defense to power the ABMS will not only give the Air Force access to the industry’s only HTS satellite constellation at Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) in the SES O3b MEO constellation, it also gives the Air Force access to a trusted partner with a long history of working collaboratively with the DoD on innovative satellite projects and implementations.

“SES Space and Defense has an extensive history of testing and developing cutting-edge connectivity solutions for the U.S. Air Force and joint requirements,” said Jim Hooper, Chief Commercial Officer of SES Space and Defense. “Opportunities like ABMS allows the Air Force to enhance their capabilities, but also for us to evolve our capabilities alongside. We want to make sure that every mission can access the full potential of our unique position in GEO and MEO, especially as we unlock more cloud computing and mobility connectivity solutions with the launch of our O3b mPOWER constellation.”

For additional information about the ABMS and the recent IDIQ contract awarded to SES Space and Defense, click HERE to read the official press release.

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