Satellite services deal awarded

The Defense Department's largest small-business program, a hotly contested $2 billion deal to provide military satellite services, ended in a three-way tie.

The Defense Information Systems Agency awarded three indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts for the Defense Information Systems Network Satellite Transmission Services-Global (DSTS-G) program to Spacelink International LLC, Artel Inc. and Arrowhead Space and Telecommunications Inc.

The maximum cumulative face value for all three contracts is anticipated to be nearly $2.2 billion over the life of the contracts if all options are exercised. Each contract was awarded for a base period of three years with seven one-year options.

DSTS-G is designed to give DOD 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 represents 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 Thursday.

"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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