DOD's Commercial Satcom Strategy Needs Adjustment

October 14, 2011

The Defense Department spends $500 million a year on commercial satellite communications to support operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has proposed a completely new approach to commercial buying practices by creating the Assured SATCOM Services in Single Theater program. Through ASSIST, DISA hopes to cut its commercial bandwidth acquisition costs dramatically through the $440 million, 15-year lease of a single commercial satellite that can be relocated to new orbital positions as requirements dictate. DISA expects this innovative long-term lease to provide it with approximately three-quarters of the Central Command's satellite capacity through an efficient, economic and dedicated source. 

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