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Satellite

SES and GovSat launch service platform for US government



The idea of the joint venture is to provide a bigger volume while still maintaining the same quality of service.  Photo: SES

The idea of the joint venture is to provide a bigger volume while still maintaining the same quality of service.  Photo: SES

The US branch of satellite operator SES will launch a mission-specific service platform for the US military in a public-private partnership with satellite company Network innovation and Luxembourg’s GovSat.

The end-to-end managed service platform, titled tactiXs, will allow the purchase of volume based Mbps service as opposed to MHz bandwidth agreements. The idea is to provide a bigger volume while still maintaining the same quality of service. Using a satellite operated by GovSat, a partnership between Luxembourg’s government and SES, the platform will deliver X-band capacity to customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

SES Government Solutions, or SES GS, provides commercial satellite communication solutions exclusively to US government clients, such as the military. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Betzdorf parent business. The Luxembourg state owns a third of SES in direct and indirect shares.

Opposition parties such as Déi Lénk have long criticised Luxembourg’s implicit support for US reaper and predator drone missions carried out by the US with SES satellite capacity.

Pairing the GovSat-1 satellite connectivity with the tactiXs platform will maintain key tools such as beam steering and control as well as encrypted telemetry and control, SES GS said in a statement. It will aim to augment the Wideband Global SATCOM system (WGS) which provides additional bandwidth and communications capabilities.

“Our new service platform is a non-preemptible alternative to WGS that can handle the most tactical-edge customers’ data and mission requirements, and with no lead time required can be set up within hours for the mission at hand,” said president and CEO of SES Pete Hoene.

SES GS in December launched Hydra, a situational awareness platform to connect different branches of the military. It is also supporting the US army in conducting trials and testing of satellite constellations for its operations.