The US Air Force Research Laboratory awarded Northrop Grumman a contract worth $80.3 million to conduct communications experiments using multiple commercial space internet services.
Under a program called Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet (DEUCSI), AFRL is working with defense contractors and commercial satcom providers to figure out how to integrate commercial space internet services with military platforms and weapon systems.
Under the four-year contract, announced June 2, Northrop Grumman will connect military platforms — such as aircraft and ground vehicles — with commercial space internet constellations that operate in geostationary, medium and low-Earth orbits.
The Air Force established the program in an effort to demonstrate the utility of commercial satcom services. One of the goals is to connect satcom services from multiple providers into a seamless network, accessed via common user terminals. Several defense contractors and commercial satcom providers have won DEUCSI contracts since the program started in 2017,
According to the announcement, Northrop Grumman’s award was a sole-source contract not open to competitive bids.