WASHINGTON — Leonardo DRS, a provider of satellite communications services to the U.S. government, announced March 22 it is selling its satcom business to commercial satellite operator SES in a $450 million deal.

Leonardo DRS Global Enterprise Solutions — a business unit of defense contractor Leonardo DRS — is one of a handful of network integrators that provide managed satcom services to the Defense Department and other government agencies. The Pentagon relies on integrators to stitch together networks from multiple vendors.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of Leonardo DRS and of SES and the deal is expected to be completed by the second half of 2022 subject to regulatory approvals, the companies said. 

“While the DRS GES business has flourished, Leonardo DRS has shifted its portfolio focus, and selling it now makes the most business sense,” said Bill Lynn, CEO of Leonardo DRS.  

SES plans to organize the DRS GES business unit under SES Government Solutions subsidiary of SES.  

The company said the investment accelerates SES’s strategy of growing its defense and government business. “SES’s revenue from serving the U.S. government would double in the size with the combination of GES and SES GS,” said Pete Hoene, president and CEO of SES Government Solutions.

SES operates a fleet of more than 70 geosynchronous and medium Earth orbit satellites. 

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...