Orbimage wins hi-res contract

National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Web site

Officials at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) announced March 29 that they awarded a Virginia company a contract worth up to $500 million to provide high-resolution satellite imagery.

Signed under NGA's ClearView program, the contract requires Dulles, Va.-based Orbimage Inc. to deliver the images during a 22-month period. The deal has a base value of $27.6 million.

ClearView is NGA's program for buying high-level imagery. ClearView contracts afford greater access and priority to government customers, agency officials said.

Guaranteed minimum purchases from Orbimage will be funded with fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2005 operations and maintenance money. Obligation of out-year funds — those beyond fiscal 2005 — will be awarded subject to availability, according to a Defense Department statement.

This contract brings the total number of ClearView contracts to three. In January 2003, NGA awarded similar multiyear contracts to Colorado-based Space Imaging LLC, worth $120 million over three years, and Digital Globe Inc., worth $72 million over the same period.

"This is an important step because it helps make the commercial satellite capabilities of the United States even more viable and robust," said retired USAF Lt. Gen. James Clapper Jr., NGA's director.

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