Iridium Satellite Makes Their NEXT Selection
Iridium Satellite LLC has announced the selection of two companies — Lockheed Martin and Thales Alenia Space — to participate in the final phase of its procurement process for the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, “Iridium NEXT.”
Iridium selected Lockheed Martin and Thales Alenia Space as a result of their initial, innovative constellation design concepts; demonstrated understanding of performance requirements and capabilities; and preliminary cost estimates for the manufacture and launch of Iridium NEXT. The final phase will last approximately nine months and is anticipated to result in the award of a full-scale development agreement for Iridium NEXT with one prime contractor award to be decided by the middle of 2009. Iridium, with more than 285,000 subscribers, is the fastest growing mobile satellite services (MSS) provider and offers a highly differentiated service capability. Through Iridium NEXT, the company plans to offer a flexible array of new services in addition to continuing current services. Iridium NEXT will maintain the company’s unique and advanced cross-linked satellite architecture and will feature an IP-based architecture, leveraging broad-based technology enhancements from the industry. In addition, Iridium NEXT has the potential to host multiple secondary payloads, which will broaden the scope of the network’s capabilities while providing an additional platform for applications such as sensing, earth observation, and command and control.
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