California-based U.S Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) awarded an $8,245,160 firm-fixed-price COMSATCOM Pathfinder contract to the global satellite solutions provider SES Government Solutions (SES GS). The contract will facilitate on-orbit transponders to support Ku-band communications for U.S. Africa Command. Pathfinder is regarded as an innovative business model available to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for the attainment of critical communications infrastructure. The model facilitated the DoD to pre-commit to the use of commercial satellite transponders for numerous years and accordingly lowers the price when compared to the traditional O&M leasing method. By securing this award, SES GS will deliver inclined satellite capacity while the U.S Government enjoys the benefits of the reduced cost. The President and Chief Executive Officer of SES GS, Tip Osterthaler, commented that the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center should be commended for once again confronting the traditional paradigm and revealing a new and cost efficient solution to match up their SATCOM needs. Due to these efforts, critical commercial communication satellite capability in a region of high demand is ensured for the persisting life of the satellite with the cost assistance offered by this substitute to one-year contracting.
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