[Satellite TODAY 08-30-10] L-3 GCS was awarded contract by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to provide Panther VSAT manpack satellite communications systems and associated equipment to support communications for field personnel operating under USSOCOM’s Special Operations Forces Deployable Node-Lite (SDN-Lite) program, the company announced Aug. 27. The contract is worth up to $170 million over the next five years. L-3 GCS will begin shipping military-tested and certified Ku-, Ka-, and X-band manpacks, data kits and power systems to USSOCOM by the end of 2010, with additional units scheduled for production and delivery over the life of the contract. “For the past two years, our goal has been to bring the size of a VSAT terminal down to a rucksack-sized package. We have achieved that goal, and USSOCOM has validated our vision with this award. Now, a single warfighter can have a megabit-per-second, beyond line-of-sight radio in his or her rucksack,” L-3 GCS President Bob Jacobson said in a statement.