WASHINGTON — SES Space & Defense announced June 28 it won a five-year contract worth up to $134 million to provide X-band satellite communications services to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The contract is a “global X-band blanket purchase agreement,” the first major defense deal awarded to SES’ U.S. subsidiary since it acquired DRS Global Enterprise Solutions last year.

SES, headquartered in Luxembourg, operates a commercial fleet of more than 70 geosynchronous and medium Earth orbit satellites.

In August 2022 it acquired DRS’s satcom integration business focused on multi-orbit communications networks and managed satcom services for U.S. government agencies. 

DoD will get services from GovSat-1

SES Space & Defense, based in Reston, Virginia, will supply DoD X-band communications provided by the GovSat-1 satellite, a joint venture between SES and the government of Luxembourg for secure military communications.

The GovSat-1 satellite operates in the X-band and military Ka-band.

X-band communications is primarily used by the military in land and maritime operations. 

For the X-band contract, SES said it is partnering with other undisclosed network integrators, satellite communications providers and teleport operators to ensure a “highly secure global terrestrial network.”

The contract was awarded by the U.S. Space Force’s Commercial Satellite Communications Office, which is part of the Space Systems Command.

“The U.S. Space Force established this contract as a mechanism to enable access to commercial X-band capacity globally for the DoD,” said SES Space & Defense President and CEO David Fields.

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...