Northrop-Led Team to Build Satellite Ground Station, Network Mgmt System for Australia Under $170M Contract

A team composed of Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), ViaSat (Nasdaq: VSAT) and Optus has received a potential $170 million contract to build a satellite ground station and a wideband satellite communications network management system for Australia’s defense force.

The team will install a satellite ground station at Wagga Wagga in New South Wales under the Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B2 contract, Northrop said Monday.

Northrop will also provide its Satellite Communications Operations and Planning Element — a network management system designed to integrate with a similar platform the U.S. government uses to manage and monitor the Wideband Global SATCOM system.

Under the partnership, ViaSat will supply its dual-band satellite terminal while Optus will provide operations support to complement the network management platform.

The WGS constellation is built to deliver continuous SATCOM services to U.S., Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Australia invested in the WGS program in 2007 in exchange for a worldwide share of the constellation’s bandwidth.

Northrop said it has supplied SATCOM software tools to the U.S. over the past two decades in an effort to help activate and operate the nine WGS satellites in orbit.

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