WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force selected five companies for a $4.8 billion multi-award contract to provide research, development and software services over 10 years in support of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

Altamira Technologies, Epsilon Systems Solutions, Modern Technology Solutions, Radiance Technologies and Xandar were selected, the Air Force announced Aug. 19. The contract was a small-business set-aside for companies with fewer than 1,500 employees. 

The National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) based at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, is the Department of Defense’s primary source for intelligence on threats that affect air and space operations.

Military and civilian personnel from the intelligence community at NASIC analyze foreign air and space capabilities and their implications for U.S. national security. The Space Force in June established a separate intelligence center within NASIC.

The Air Force said the five vendors were selected in a competitive process, and 10 bids were received.  The five winners will compete for task orders under a so-called indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.

Known as NOVASTAR (short for National Air and Space Intelligence Center Scientific and Technical Intelligence Capability Support Services), the contract was an effort to consolidate 20 previous intelligence analysis service contracts under fewer vendors.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...