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Spacecraft, Launch Vehicles & Satellites
 
LOCKHEED MARTIN AWARDED OPIR CONTRACT
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Click image for a larger picture

OPIR will replace SBIRS satellites

Source: Lockheed Martin


OPIR will replace SBIRS satellites

Source: Lockheed Martin


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LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract for three Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Space Vehicles. The contract encompasses requirements analysis, design/development, critical path flight hardware procurement, early manufacturing, and risk reduction efforts leading to a system critical design review.

The contract follows a similar one awarded to Northrop Grumman in June 2018 to begin work on two polar-orbiting OPIR satellites.

The contract utilizes rapid procurement authority granted to the Air Force by Congress in 2016. As such, the award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. In addition, the contract is not a multiyear deal. Instead, it is an undefinitized contract worth up to $2.9 billion. At the time of the award, Lockheed Martin received $80 million.

The initial work conducted by Lockheed Martin is expected to culminate in a critical design review by the end of April 2021. At that point, the Air Force will likely award contract modifications at a later date up to the total amount. Still, the Air Force and Lockheed Martin will work to keep costs lower. The fifth and sixth SBIRS GEO satellites (which OPIR will be replacing) cost $930 million each. The Air Force will aim to keep costs at or below that point.

The Air Force initially planned to begin deploying SBIRS follow-ons in FY29. However, Strategic Command commander General John Hyten has said that this is too long and would prefer to start deploying satellites by 2025, using an incremental upgrade approach, rather than using revolutionary, and risky, technology. In fact, the Air Force may even attempt to deploy the satellites by 2023.

It is unlikely the Air Force will deploy the satellites that quickly. However, using the new contracting methods will speed development and deployment, making a launch by the mid-2020s possible.

Source:  DoD Contracts
Associated URL: https://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1602348/
Source Date: August 15, 2018
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 08/15/2018

 
 
COLOMBIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SENDS BILL TO CONGRESS TO REGULATE MILITARY DEPLOYMENT
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
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New bill will regulate Colombian military deployments

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Taggen


New bill will regulate Colombian military deployments

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Taggen


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BOGOTA -- The Colombian Ministry of National Defense has sent a bill to Congress to establish a legal framework to regulate the deployment of the armed forces.

The bill was sent to Congress in response to the military's role in combatting organized armed groups and organized criminal groups. The fight against these groups often requires lethal force and the high degree of training and operational proficiency that the military provides.

The Ministry of National Defense hopes that the bill will unify international humanitarian law and the International Law of Human Rights with the laws of the Colombian republic. Specifically, the bill will establish a legal framework that will govern different intervention scenarios for the armed forces - including during times of peace, during non-international conflicts, during international conflicts, and during other international scenarios.

The bill will help to provide legal clarity to judges when assessing the actions of the armed forces. Essentially, it is expected to provide legal security for armed forces when they are fighting criminal and terrorist groups, ELN and remnants of FARC in particular.

While Colombia signed a peace deal with FARC, conflicts remain within the country. The ELN has yet to sign a peace deal with the government, and remnants of FARC continue to fight. New president Iván Duque Márquez is determined to take a hardline against these groups. Therefore, protections are needed for Colombian soldiers combatting these groups. At the same time, Colombia needs to meet international human rights standards as it moves to increase its role internationally, including increased peace keeping operations and an increased role in NATO.

Source:  Colombian Ministry of National Defense
Associated URL: https://www.mindefensa.gov.co/irj/portal/Mindefensa/contenido?NavigationTarget=navurl://c7184d723ed004e4976303504322a23c
Source Date: August 14, 2018
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 08/14/2018

 
 
DIRECTV CHANGES STRATEGY AS MARKET SHIFTS
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Click image for a larger picture

DirecTV changing its strategy

Source: Wikimedia Commons/AMK1211


DirecTV changing its strategy

Source: Wikimedia Commons/AMK1211


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NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Along with DISH Network, DirecTV dominates the U.S. direct broadcast satellite (DBS) services market. DirecTV is also focusing on growing its presence in Latin America, as is evident by the recent launch of SKY MEXICO 1 and SKY Brasil 1. Despite the strong position of DirecTV, the overall market for satellite TV is declining and more consumers shift to viewing video content via the Internet.

As a result, DirecTV is beginning to change its strategy under the leadership of new owner AT&T, Inc, which is shifting the focus of DirecTV away from satellite services and toward a so-called "over-the-top" model, in which live television is streamed over the Internet. The company's new DirecTV Now service will offer traditional cable television channels that will be sent to customers over the Internet. Using the Internet rather than satellites significantly lowers the cost for customers and reduces the need for expensive satellites.

The focus on Internet services will reduce the need for new satellites at DirecTV. However, it will not eliminate the need entirely. Satellites will continue to serve legacy customers who have already signed up for satellite services and do not want to switch. Satellites will also continue to be effective in reaching rural customers who do not have access to the high-speed broadband connections required to stream live television. Finally, DirecTV Now will focus on lower-cost packages to compete with on-line competitors like Sling TV, which might mean that customers who want higher-end packages will still turn to satellite-based solutions.

For those reasons, DirecTV will continue to take delivery of new satellites throughout the forecast period.

Source:  Forecast International
Associated URL: www.forecastinternational.com
Source Date: August 14, 2018
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 08/14/2018

 

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