SES shortlisted to compete for IoT contracts for the U.S. Military

ABMS is part of the Pentagon’s plans to create an IoT-driven Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control, for which, the Air Force has requested funding of $302 million in the fiscal year 2021, along with a projected $3.2 billion in funding over the next five years.

SES shortlisted to compete for IoT contracts for the U.S. Military
SES shortlisted to compete for IoT contracts for the U.S. Military

SES shortlisted to compete for IoT contracts for the U.S. Military

Satellite communications provider SES Government Solutions has been selected by the U.S. Air Force to be one of several vendors competing for contracts to build IoT (Internet of Things) solutions to the U.S. Military. So far, vendors from across the defense, aerospace and tech industries have been shortlisted.

The winner will provide communications services for the Air Force’s ABMS (Advanced Battle Management System) program, aimed at connecting weapon systems to command centers so they can share data easily, reported Space News.

ABMS is part of the Pentagon’s plans to create an IoT-driven Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control, for which, the Air Force has requested funding of $302 million in the fiscal year 2021, along with a projected $3.2 billion in funding over the next five years.

The selected vendors will compete for individual task orders worth up to $950 million, as part of the testing and development of the ABMS. SpaceX’s Starlink and SES have both been nominated to provide satellite-based communications for the ABMS, but Starlink’s satellites are in low-Earth orbit, while SES has satellites in geosynchronous and medium-Earth orbit.

The goal is to make ABMS an open architecture, so it can use commercial systems to link, for instance, military combat aircraft that are currently unable to transmit information to other systems. This will help the Air Force move data seamlessly from sensors to weapons systems and to cloud computing environments, for faster analysis and processing.

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisitions, said that ABMS has been under development for the last 18 months, and the Air Force will keep conducting new demonstrations known as “on-ramps”, in the years to come. He further added that while ABMS is a top priority for the Air Force, it does come with its share of challenges.

The program consists of several variable components and suffers from compatibility issues with the rigid procurement system of the U.S. Military.