Commercial Capacity Has Become the Backbone of Military Satellite Communications

While there has been a long history of collaboration between the commercial satellite operators and government customers, the past 25 years have seen commercial providers play an even more expanded role in the success of military missions. 

The communications satellite operator community has become more robust and is advancing the need for more wideband satellite support for global military engagements.  As a result, the commercial sector has essentially become the backbone for effective MILSATCOM.

This is according to a new article by Don Brown, Vice President of Hosted Payloads at Intelsat General Corporation, in the latest Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC) newsletter (Page 16).

In the article, Brown discusses why broadband communications are essential to today’s more modern military.  He also points out that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) estimates that commercial operators provide more than 90 percent of the wideband satellite communications capacity in the Asian theater of operations.  Even with the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, and the end of combat operations in Iraq, commercial operators are satisfying the majority of the wideband satellite communications used by the military.

A key benefit of the military’s use of commercial capacity is the enormous space and ground infrastructure built by the commercial satellite industry, offering military operators worldwide ubiquitous, disaggregated and cost-efficient transmission of voice, video, and data.

Last September, Brown gave a presentation on the benefits of the hosted payload approach for government customers at the Hosted Payload Summit in Washington, DC.  We encourage you to check out his Satcom Frontier post about his presentation there.

Further reinforcing these benefits is the upcoming launch of a UHF hosted payload aboard the Intelsat 27 (IS-27), which is scheduled to start service at 304.5°E in mid-2013, and will replace the IS-805 satellite providing increased and enhanced capacity for media, network and government services.

Brown’s article also underscores a recent Satcom Frontier blog post by Kay Sears, President of Intelsat General, where she discussed how 2013 will be a year of progress for our sector.  The commercial sector has come a long way in supporting military operations over the past 25 years and we look forward to providing continued service to the U.S. government in the future.



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