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Iridium Awarded $738.5 Million US DoD Contract

By Annamarie Nyirady | September 16, 2019
An Iridium Next satellite. Photo: Iridium

An Iridium Next satellite. Photo: Iridium

Iridium Communications was awarded a $738.5 million, seven-year, fixed-price contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) through the U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSpC) to provide unlimited satellite services from its Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation. Through what is known as the AFSpC’s Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) program, Iridium will continue to deliver access to global  voice, broadcast, netted, or Distributed Tactical Communications System (DTCS) and select other services for an unlimited number of DoD and associated DoD-approved subscribers.

Under the current fixed-price contract, the EMSS program has continuously increased its adoption and utilization of Iridium services, while the capabilities delivered have also evolved over time from telephone voice and data to broadcast, multicast and other Internet of Things (IoT) services. Over the course of the previous contract period, DoD subscribers grew from approximately 51,000 to more than 125,000, a 145 percent increase. This growth in adoption has also resulted in increased collaboration between the government and Iridium’s ecosystem of partners.

“Iridium’s EMSS contract serves as a model for how commercial operators can cost-effectively and efficiently deliver critical satellite managed services to the warfighter,” said Scott Scheimreif, Executive Vice President of Government Programs, Iridium. “Iridium offers the DoD unrivaled access to its unique, operational, low-earth orbiting network of 66 cross-linked satellites. When you combine our unique network, our ecosystem of dedicated partners and an innovative, fixed-price, seven-year contract, you create an optimal environment for DoD and other USG program offices to effectively plan for and budget their programs, taking full advantage of the Iridium capability.” Scheimreif continued, “The program has been a great example of partnership and innovation between industry and the DoD as Iridium continuously explores ways to meet their emerging requirements. When you combine this level of network transparency, collaboration and the ease of acquisition, it results in a significant win for the DoD and their users.”