COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — U.S. Space Command wants to strengthen its partnerships with commercial providers through a new integration strategy.
SPACECOM Commander Gen. James Dickinson rolled out the new commercial integration strategy Tuesday during a media briefing here at the Space Symposium.
“We have really had a surge, if you will, of commercial companies that are coming to us wanting to be part of the broader [Department of Defense] enterprise,” Dickinson said. “We took a step back . . . and said, how can we do that better? How can we make it easier, more efficient, more feasible for a commercial company to enter into an agreement with us?”
According to an overview of the strategy, the goal is to develop a framework for better integrating commercial capabilities in a way that helps fill capability gaps. The overview outlines three “ways” or lines of effort SPACECOM will pursue: accelerating acquisition and technology refresh timelines, exploring integration as a service and leveraging industry expertise to strengthen partnerships.
The outline notes that SPACECOM will prioritize opportunities in the areas of command and control, big data management, modeling and simulation, space control and satellite communication satellites and terminals. The command will also seek commercial service approaches in a range of areas including remote sensing, SATCOM bandwidth and quantum computing.
The role of commercial satellite imagery in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has demonstrated the capabilities these companies can provide, Dickinson said — especially when integrated with military intelligence.
“Those civilian companies that now can provide that level of imagery is really beneficial to not only the broader audience worldwide understanding what’s happening on the ground, but also in terms of how that can augment and supplement what we do in the Department of Defense,” he said.
Asked about concerns that commercial satellites could be targeted by adversaries, Dickinson did not directly address the issue, but noted those capabilities are becoming inherently more resilient as companies develop proliferated constellations and the ability to rapidly replenish capabilities.
Courtney Albon is C4ISRNET’s space and emerging technology reporter. She has covered the U.S. military since 2012, with a focus on the Air Force and Space Force. She has reported on some of the Defense Department’s most significant acquisition, budget and policy challenges.