Member News

Industry Officials Express Optimism Over DOD Commercial Satcom Integration Line Item

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch,

SVP, Government Strategy

and Policy, Viasat

Industry Officials Express Optimism Over DOD Commercial Satcom Integration Line Item

Several satellite communication industry executives have expressed optimism that the Department of Defense will turn to commercial satellite providers to fulfill the government’s military satcom needs.

For fiscal year 2025, the Pentagon inserted a $134 million line item for commercial satcom integration, a significant increase compared to the $71 million sought in the 2024 budget.

While applauding the steps of the DOD, the industry expressed concerns over the type of competition that will be born out of the government’s move to source satcom tasks to the private sector, SpaceNews reported.

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, senior vice president for government strategy and policy at Viasat and a 4×24 member, said that the line item for commercial satcom integration is a positive development for the satellite communications industry. However, she emphasized that its impact is still dependent on how funding will be used.

To address Cowen-Hirsch’s concern, Frank Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force, called on the DOD to overhaul its technology procurement practices.

In October 2023, Calvelli said that a procurement revamp allows the government to take advantage of the benefits offered by commercially available technologies. He added that the existing procurement culture is a significant hurdle hampering rapid innovation.

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Category: Member News

Tags: commercial satellite communication Department of Defense Inmarsat Member News Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch Viasat