GDMS-Iridium Team to Build Ground Segment for US Defense Space Architecture Under $324M Contract

A team of General Dynamics’ (NYSE: GD) mission systems business and Iridium Communications (Nasdaq: IRDM) has received a potential $324.5 million contract from the Space Development Agency to build, operate and maintain ground entry points and operations centers for the first tranche of the National Defense Space Architecture.

The contract also includes network operations and systems integration support, including payload data management, enterprise, mission and network management and constellation monitoring spanning the ground, space, link and user segments of the NDSA, the companies said in a joint release published Thursday.

Chris Brady, president of General Dynamics Mission Systems and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, said the company is proud to bring to SDA its expertise in networking and mission-critical space and ground communications as it works with partners to establish the foundation for SDA’s initial warfighting capability and Joint All-Domain Command and Control.

Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium and a 2022 Wash100 awardee, said the company is honored to take on the opportunity to help build the next-generation network by bringing to the team its 25 years of experience operating in low-Earth orbit.

Iridium and GDMS will work with Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX), KSAT USA and Emergent on the contract, which has a base value of $162.9 million and $161.5 million in options.

In April, Iridium and General Dynamics submitted a joint proposal to SDA to compete for a contract to manage and operate a constellation of Transport Layer Tranche 1 satellites in low-Earth orbit. The bid was in response to a solicitation issued by SDA in January for the “ground operations and integration segment” of the first tranche of the NDSA’s transport layer, which seeks to move space-based data through optical links.

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