The Army is seeking industry’s input on potential solutions if the service were to procure commercially-managed SATCOM As A Service (SAAS) capabilities to support its logistics network modernization efforts.

A new Request for Information notice says the Army may look to find a SATCOM provider capable of offering the full range of SAAS services for its modernized Sustainment Tactical Network (STN), rather than acquiring individual components separately.

Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy received a briefing on network modernization efforts from Col. Garth Winterle, Project Manager for Tactical Radios, PEO C3T, during his visit to Aberdeen Proving Ground on Oct. 24, 2019. (U.S. Army photo)

“We are looking to our industry partners to provide us with inventive approaches to meet our logistics transport capabilities needs,” Col. Shane Taylor, project manager for Tactical Network, said in a statement. “This includes both end item material solutions, as well as what corresponding leasing cost models could look like to enable the Army to maximize capabilities while balancing long-term affordability.”

The Army noted that an SAAS provider for STN modernization could be required to deliver services covering “hardware, software, management and sustainment, with one contract, using a simple payment structure based on each leased Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) ground satellite terminal.”

“We want to deliver the right STN SATCOM capability at the right price, while keeping current with technology and ahead of obsolescence,” Lt. Col. Natashia Coleman, product lead for Unified Network Capabilities and Integration, said in a statement. “To do that we need to better understand how and what industry can provide, what their different managed services models would look like, how they could each best support our hardware and support services requirements, and then compare that to the more traditional way we are providing the capability now and determine which would work best.”

The future modernized STN is intended to deliver an updated logistics network capability with new baseband, local transport and antenna hardware solutions, according to the Army.

“Developed for the general purpose user, STN systems will provide the network connectivity for sustainment, medical, and administrative information to be exchanged on the battlefield across multiple echelons,” the Army wrote in a statement. “STN VSATs will provide the beyond-line-of-sight tactical network transport needed to enable data exchange for the Army’s unified logistics information systems.”