The U.S. Marine Corps has awarded L3Harris Technologies [LHX] an $88 million program award for Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT). Under the firm-fixed-price, Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract, L3Harris will supply up to 169 Panther II terminals.
Jerry Adams, general manager of VSAT for L3Harris, told sister publication Via Satellite that the Panther II terminal that L3Harris will be supplying is the smallest physical terminal in use by the Marines. It can be carried as a manpack and set up by an individual Marine within 10 minutes. The Panther II operates in the X-, Ku-, and Ka-bands and has modular modems.
L3Harris was the incumbent on a previous Marine VSAT program for Hawkeye terminals, but this is the first Marine contract for the Panther line. The Panther terminals have been provided to other U.S. Department of Defense customers and international militaries as well. Adams said he believes the level of support L3Harris provides for the product and the capability of the technology were the differentiators that led to the award of this contract.
“The product speaks for itself — when it’s in the field, it performs very well. We have a very complete product roadmap,” Adams said. “Leveraging all of L3Harris [in regards to] integrating ground radios/tactical radios with satcom, I think it puts L3Harris in a unique position. And L3Harris as a large company being able to support Marines deployed in the field really completed the whole thing.”
Adams shared that L3Harris is investing in more capabilities for the Panther terminal, including features that allow for operation in contested or congested environments, and additional cybersecurity protections, and is hopeful the Marines will incorporate features into the contract as they become available.
Adams called this award a “huge win” to support the Marines, a strategic customer.
“This is a signature award that sets us up with a five-year program with the Marines. They have other programs coming out next year that we’re going to be competing on. I think this puts us in a strong position to compete and win those programs,” Adams said. “It also lets us leverage this as we are growing internationally, as we take this product family to NATO and Five Eyes partners.”
The contract, announced Oct. 20, came with an initial delivery order of $21 million that L3Harris will deliver over the next seven months. The terminals will be built in Rochester, N.Y., facilities. Work is expected to be complete by October 2025.