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UK MoD seeks ground segment solution for space ISR constellation

An artistic rendition of the UK's proposed future ISR constellation. (Space Command)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched a new GBP20 million (USD24.2 million) 36-month project named Beroe, which seeks a ground segment software solution for controlling the UK's space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) constellation.

Announced by the MoD on 25 July, the contracting authority – Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) – is seeking a supplier(s) that can provide a ground segment software solution for tasking, monitoring, and controlling the UK's future ISR low Earth orbit satellite constellation.

Expected to be an important component of the UK MoD ground segment, it will act as the primary mission control system (MCS) for the ‘Customer Satellite Operations Centre', the MoD said.

The programme is adopting a Rapid Agile Prototyping, Scaled for Operations (RAPSO) commercial framework, whereby the project is segregated into stages or lots.

Stage one will involve suppliers submitting their interest in the programme via a Dynamic Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (DPQQ) by 23 August, the MoD said. DE&S will then launch an Invitation to Tender Lite (ITT-Lite), as part of stage two, where successful parties will be invited to submit their proposals.

Stage three will comprise DE&S inviting bidders to demonstrate and present their solution, finally DE&S will award a contract to one or more suppliers in stage four of the project.

As the announcement stated, the supplier(s) is expected to develop a “technology road map, secure software development plan, and assist (through demonstration and prototype development) with the maturation of system requirements and the development of a software architecture that will deliver an assured MCS for space-based ISR command-and-control, which is scalable to meet future operational needs, and enable interoperability with UK MoD-owned space assets.

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