Army Releases RFI for Satellite Communication Service
The service wants an understanding of industry very small aperture terminal capabilities for use under a potential satellite-as-a-service model.
On October 14 the U.S. Army released a request for information to industry about how commercially-managed satellite communication (SATCOM) services could support the service’s logistics network modernization efforts in constructing a Sustainment Tactical Network, also known as the STN.
The STN, meant for general purpose users, will include new baseband, local transport and antenna hardware solutions. In addition, STN systems will provide the network connectivity for sustainment, medical and administrative information to be exchanged on the battlefield across multiple echelons, according to a statement from the U.S. Army’s Program Execute Office Command, Control and Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T).
The service is looking for information on SATCOM-as-a-service (SAAS) models, including industry best practices, technological advancements and innovative business models that could enable the replacement of the current logistics network operating design and grow the STN.
“We are looking to our industry partners to provide us with inventive approaches to meet our logistics transport capabilities needs,” said Col. Shane Taylor, USA, project manager, Tactical Network. “This includes both end item material solutions, as well as what corresponding leasing cost models could look like to enable the Army to maximize capabilities while balancing long-term affordability.”
Currently, the Army procures each SATCOM component separately when delivering such capabilities to warfighters. In addition, hardware, software, commercial satellite constellation bandwidth, maintenance and sustainment support and other services required to run the STN are often put on separate stand-alone contracts. Comparatively, possible industry SAAS solutions could deliver all necessary services in one contract, using a simple payment structure based on each leased Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSATs) ground satellite terminal, according to the service.
These potential STN VSATs will provide the beyond-line-of-sight tactical network transport needed to enable data exchange for the Army's unified logistics information systems.
“We want to deliver the right STN SATCOM capability at the right price, while keeping current with technology and ahead of obsolescence,” said Lt. Col. Natashia Coleman, USA, product lead, Unified Network Capabilities and Integration, PEO C3T. “To do that we need to better understand how and what industry can provide, what their different managed services models would look like, how they could each best support our hardware and support services requirements, and then compare that to the more traditional way we are providing the capability now and determine which would work best. Whatever the outcome, taking the time upfront to review all of the options will enable us to deliver the best solution for the Army.”
Response are due back from interested parties by November 6, 2020.
For more information on the STN SAAS RFI, visit the System for Award Management website.