The army is planning to purchase commercial broadband services from constellations in medium & low orbits and offer forces with expeditious and dependable communications. The Director of Network Cross-Functional Team from Army Futures Command, Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, recently stated that a combination of government-provided and commercial bandwidth from satellites in geostationary orbit is presently employed by the Army. Moreover, he pointed out the expensiveness of these satellites for connectivity along with their inability to serve the potential requirements of the Army for combat operations.
While Gallagher was recently speaking in the yearly conference of the Association of the U.S. Army, he stated that equipping soldiers with diverse choices to get bandwidth in the field, such as terrestrial and satellite-based communications, is the key motive of the Army. Moreover, he highlighted the Army’s plans to look for more choices other than the present GEO systems’ satellite communications services. Gallagher stated that high latency in satellite links and inadequate capacity are the most important issues today.
Gallagher is aware of the complexities faced by the forces in the field experience due to scarce connectivity as he was involved in running communications and information systems at the U.S. Central Command. He stated, “There is a huge dependence on commercial SATCOM and a good combination of commercial & military satellites. Almost everything we do to link our networks has been with geosynchronous satellites. And the price of commercial SATCOM is quite important.”
On a similar note, recently Comtech Telecommunications stated that the company’s part of Government Solutions segment, Mission-Critical Technologies group, has achieved a $98.6-million contract from the Army. Via this agreement, the company will be offering the worldwide field support services for military satellite communication (“SATCOM”) terminals globally. This announcement was done during its first quarter of the fiscal year 2020. At present, the initial funding of approximately $22 Million is offered to this contract.
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