Space Force agency taps 20 companies for $1 billion ground systems IDIQ

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun3,2024

WASHINGTON — The Space Rapid Capabilities Office, a specialized unit within the U.S. Space Force tasked with fast-tracking critical space technologies, selected 20 companies for an Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) multi-year contract for the development of ground-systems software. 

The estimated $1 billion IDIQ contract — a pre-negotiated agreement between the government and multiple vendors — is for a program known as R2C2, short for Rapid Resilient Command and Control, focused on developing a next-generation ground system built on a commercial cloud architecture. 

The Space RCO structured the contract as a small-business set-aside, or specifically reserved for small businesses. This is done to create a level playing field and encourage participation from smaller companies that might not be able to compete with larger corporations on a large-scale project. 

Under the contract, the Space RCO will award task orders over five years with a potential two-year extension. 

Companies selected for the R2C2 IDIQ:

Aalyria Technologies

a.i. solutions

Defense Unicorns

FTI – Frontier Technology

Giuseppe Engineering

Infinity Systems Engineering

IS4S – Integrated Solutions for Systems

NewSat North America

Northstrat Inc.

Omitron Inc.

Omni Federal

Pacific Crest Alliance

Picogrid Inc.

Quantum Research International

Raft LLC

Rogue Space Systems

Sphinx Defense

Systems & Technology Research

TapHere! Technology

True Anomaly

In a statement June 6, the Space RCO said the Space Force is seeking an “end-to-end satellite operations ground system with the capability to fly dynamic space operations missions.” This is a concept that envisions military space assets being able to maneuver and redeploy in response to threats. 

The R2C2 program seeks to achieve this by developing a next-generation ground system built on a commercial cloud architecture, the agency said. The task orders under the IDIQ will be for software tools and infrastructure to allow Space Force operators to reposition satellites or conduct other operations in a more agile way than is done currently. 

The program builds on previous efforts like Enterprise Ground Services (EGS) and Ground Command, Control and Communications (GC3), which aimed for unified command and control but struggled with overly broad scopes. 

Software in “bite-sized” pieces

The RCO’s strategy is to acquire software systems in incremental phases. This “bite-sized” approach allows for rapid development cycles and updates, the agency said. 

The first task orders are expected to be awarded in the next few months, said the Space RCO. 

The agency said it established the R2C2 program office in February 2023 in response to directives from Frank Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration, who has expressed concerns about traditional ground systems used by the Space Force. 

Calvelli has called for breaking down what are typically monolithic ground systems developments into smaller, more manageable pieces to allow for faster development and easier integration of new functionalities.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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