General Dynamics Missions Systems, Iridium land $324M space contract
Will build, support and operate National Space Defense Architecture
Fairfax-based General Dynamics Missions Systems and McLean-based Iridium Communications Inc. have received a $324 million contract to build and provide network operations and support for the National Defense Space Architecture.
The award, from the Space Development Agency, includes a $162.9 million base and $161.5 million in options. Under the contract, General Dynamics Missions Systems and Iridium will work with partners including Colorado-based KSAT USA, Massachusetts-based Raytheon and Emergent Space Technologies, based in Maryland, to develop, equip and operate NDSA centers and lead ground-to-space integration for the SDA’s low-earth orbit satellites, according to a news release.
The SDA was established in 2019 and helps get military satellites launched and into orbit. It is expected to become a part of the U.S. Space Force later this year.
“We are incredibly proud to bring our long heritage of mission-critical space and ground communications and networking expertise to the Space Development Agency,” General Dynamics Mission Systems President Chris Brady said in a statement. “Together with our partners, we’re excited to build the foundation for the SDA’s initial warfighting capability and backbone of Joint All-Domain Command and Control.”
Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is a Department of Defense effort to connect sensors from each of the military’s branches into a single network.
“Iridium, General Dynamics Mission Systems and the U.S. government have a long and successful history of working together and partnering on this project is a natural evolution of our relationship,” said Idirum CEO Matt Desch. “Iridium’s 25 years of experience operating in (low-earth orbit) makes us uniquely qualified for this opportunity, and we’re honored to take on this tremendous responsibility in support of this next generation network.”
General Dynamics Missions Systems is a business unit of Reston-based Fortune 500 aerospace and defense contractor General Dynamics Corp. and employs more than 12,000 people worldwide. Iridium operates a constellation of 66 satellites providing communications services such as broadband, voice and data communications.