WASHINGTON – ViaSat, the satellite broadband hardware and services provider, has won a contract worth as much as $73 million to provide satellite communications aboard Air Force One and a fleet of government planes used to fly senior government leaders.

The Defense Information Systems Agency, which procures commercial satellite capacity on behalf of military users, awarded ViaSat of Carlsbad, California a sole-sourced, firm-fixed price contract to provide Ku- and Ka-band satellite communications to senior U.S. government leaders, according to a June 1 announcement from the Defense Department.

The deal includes ViaSat’s subscription-based service and options for an additional year of service that would run through May 31, 2018.

The Air Force is modernizing its fleet of aircraft used by the president and vice president of the United States, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state and the chairman of the joint chief of staffs and plans to replace the current proprietary hardware with ViaSat modems, the announcement said. The planes include the Air Force’s VC-25A, C-32A, C-40B and C37A/B aircraft, according to budget documents.

ViaSat offers a near-global network using its own Ka-band satellites over the Americas and leased Ku-band capacity elsewhere.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.