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Hughes developing S-Band network to support proliferated LEO

Hughes' Jupiter 3 commercial satellite spacecraft is pictured above. The LEO spacecraft being developed for the USSF will likely be similar in size, according to company officials. (Hughes )

Hughes Network Systems is developing a new S-Band satellite communications (satcom) network, to support proliferated-low Earth orbit (P-LEO) requirements outlined by the US Space Force (USSF), a company senior executive told Janes .

The P-LEO service will be provided by OneWeb Technologies and distributed by Hughes, which also designed the entire ground infrastructure for the OneWeb LEO network, said Rick Lober, vice-president of the Government & Defense Division at Hughes. “We're branding this thing [as] Hughes LEO, kind of like OneWeb inside, and that'll be one of the standard services” the company will provide the USSF, Lober said during a 7 September interview.

S-Band network as part of a USD900 million indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract was issued by USSF as a way to bolster the service's commercial satcom capabilities. Hughes was one of several commercial satellite companies contracted by USSF as part of the IDIQ deal.

Issued by the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA's) Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization (DITCO), the IDIQ is divided into two sub-agreements. One sub-agreement contracts the “service plans” provided by the selected industry participants. The P-LEO satcom services provided will be “reflective of government user groups' capability needs within the context of commercially available services”, according to a November 2022 request for information (RFI) notice for the IDIQ.

The second sub-agreement will cover the line-item specifics associated with the negotiated service plan, “to enable straight-forward procurement of capabilities for customers with unique mission requirements”, the RFI stated at the time.

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