Inmarsat Government Inc. has been awarded a contract worth as much as $246 million over five years to provide commercial satellite communication services for the U.S. military.

The single-award blanket purchase agreement with the Defense Information Systems Agency was announced June 18. The initial award covers a one-year span from June 19 to June 18, 2020, with four option years. The contract provides for commercial satellite bandwidth for U.S. Africa Command.

“The government expects to order Ku-band services sufficient to support airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and command and control missions,” a DISA spokesperson said in an email June 20.

According to the announcement, DISA received two bids for the contract.

Inmarsat declined to comment on the award until after the protest period was over. The company has faced issues due to protests in the recent past.

In September 2015, DISA awarded Inmarsat a potential five-year $450 million contract to provide worldwide commercial telecommunications services on the Ku, Ka and X-Band for the Navy’s Commercial Broadband Satellite Program. That award was protested by Intelsat, who successfully convinced the Government Accountability Office that DISA had given different companies different bid requirements. That decision led to a stop-work order on the new contract, though DISA ultimately lifted the stop work order through a contract modification in July 2016.

A DISA spokesperson confirmed that the two contracts are not mission related.

Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.

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