Small biz poised for major DOD deal

The Defense Department will soon award a $2 billion contract for satellite services — the largest small-business set-aside contract in the department's history.

The Defense Information Systems Agency is expected to award the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) Satellite Transmission Services - Global (DSTS-G) contract to no more than two contractors, meaning two winners could share the prize.

According to a Commerce Business Daily announcement Jan. 10, DSTS-G will be a 10-year contract composed of a three-year base contract with one seven-year option.

DSTS-G is designed to give the Defense Department a full range of commercial satellite services to ensure rapid response to worldwide crises. It will provide a commercial-based, private satellite network to support the department's general-purpose service requirements.

The contract likely will be awarded within days, and it would represent one of DOD's "newest and most innovative" programs, according to Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege Jr., director of DISA, who described DSTS-G during an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association luncheon Feb. 5.

"In the next few days, we will award the largest small-business set-aside contract in history. This contract will provide commercial [bandwidth] and is available to the entire federal government," Raduege said.

Before it was set aside for small-business contractors, DSTS-G was criticized as a case of DOD "bundling" multiple smaller contracts into one large program for which only larger contractors could compete.

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