in Defence / Space

Viasat to develop new systems and capabilities for USAF

Posted 3 January 2024

Viasat is to work with the US Air Force's Life Cycle Management Center (USAF LCMC) to transition and integrate new innovative technologies and capabilities as part of a $900 million ceiling, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.

Above: Airmen from the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron walk to a KC-135 Stratotanker to perform maintenance inspections in support of exercise Mobility Guardian 2023 at Yokota Air Base, Japan, 9th July 2023.
Courtesy USAF - photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Jett


Under the multi-award contract – known by its initialism LCMC XA IDIQ – Viasat is expected to prototype and test systems, hardware, software, and cybersecurity solutions to provide integrated, multi-domain capabilities for the USAF. Viasat experts will accelerate and expand technology integration across the Air Force. The contract has an approximate five-year term, with options for up to an additional five years.

Today, the USAF is developing new systems, software and hardware rapidly as it keeps pace with industry innovation. The architecture and integration directorate – AFLCMC/XA – works with industry contractors like Viasat to transition those technologies ever-faster to operational forces. 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.

Viasat has been selected for each of the three categories under the contract: 'Development Planning' will define the rapid transition of technology from lab to operational use; 'Systems Development' will see emerging systems, hardware and software incorporated into existing platforms and tested in operational environments; while '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 award will see Viasat offer its entire range of resilient communications capabilities, including commercially proven satellite services from its Ka-band, S-band, and L-band networks.

"Resilient communications and communications security are critical for military operations, and the USAF has been clear they need to move technology from development to at-scale operational use quicker than ever," said Susan Miller, President of Viasat Government. "This award provides the means to work directly with the Air Force research, development and operational communities to transition a huge range of developments, which can all ultimately help deliver mission success."

The contract is one of the first major DoD IDIQ contracts awarded to Viasat since its acquisition of Inmarsat in May 2023, which significantly expanded the company's scale and scope. The combined company now operates a fleet of 18 satellites in space, with an additional 10 satellites under development.

 

 

 

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