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US Air Force Contracts Viasat for Five-Year Satellite Tech Overhaul

By Jeffrey Hill | January 2, 2024

The Pentagon, headquarters for the Department of Defense. Photo: Wikimedia

The U.S. Air Force awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to satellite operator Viasat to provide integrated, multi-domain capabilities for the USAF Life Cycle Management Center (USAF LCMC). Viasat announced the award on Dec. 28.

The contract, named LCMC XA IDIQ by the Pentagon, has a five-year term with a ceiling value of $900 million and requires Viasat to prototype and test systems, hardware, software, and cybersecurity capabilities utilizing satellite services from its Ka-band, S-band, and L-band networks.

Viasat’s work under the IDIQ contract will fall under three categories: “Development Planning,” which will define the rapid transition of technology from lab to operational use; “Systems Development,” which will see emerging systems, hardware and software incorporated into existing platforms and tested in operational environments; and “Synthetic Environment Development” will allow the directorate to build advanced models and simulations based on real-life scenarios (digital twins) to perform operational assessments.

“The architecture and integration directorate – AFLCMC/XA – works with industry contractors like Viasat to transition those technologies ever-faster to operational forces,” Viasat said in a statement. “The contract was set up to allow the USAF to quickly access a wide range of industry solutions and make integrated technology available to its personnel more quickly.”