US government backs commercial satellites

In an important statement that is good news for the likes of Intelsat and SES, the US government has given its strongest support for some time as to the use and role of commercial satellites in terms of military usage.

A US government House Armed Services Committee meeting on January 28th heard the Pentagon’s top satellite czar (Frank Kendall) praise the role of commercial satellite operators, and say “Yes” to a question as to whether the Department of Defense would be making use of conventional satellites in the future.

Commercial satellite operators have suffered over the past few years as US government spending has been trimmed (“the sequestration programme”) with the military cut-backs in the Middle East.

“Because of concerns about the survivability of our space assets we’re looking at a wide range number of alternatives to the way we currently do business…  One of the things we have to look at is, can we effectively disaggregate by relying more on commercial systems. We have to be sure they’ll be available in wartime, that we’ll have the capacity we need,” Kendall told the committee.

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