U.S. Defense Department Buys Over $7 Billion of Commercial Satellite Imagery Support

by: Matthew Potter
August 10, 2010

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Events, logistics, NGIA, Satellites, Services, space | RSS 2.0

U.S. Defense Department Buys Over $7 Billion of Commercial Satellite Imagery Support

The United States Department of Defense contracted with two commercial companies providing satellite imagery to support its operations across the globe. The value of the contracts announced over the last few days is $7.35 billion.

GeoEye Imagery Collection Systems (GEOY) and DigitalGlobe (DGI) will share work on this effort. Both companies will utilize part of the funds to build new satellites and get them into orbit.

The contracts will last for ten years and the companies will be paid an amount monthly for the data they provide to the Pentagon’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA).

The NGIA makes maps and charts among other duties while also supporting the American and its Allies military forces with imagery and other data. As anyone who has used Google Maps or Earth knows commercially provided imagery is getting to be of higher-and-higher quality and while it won’t provide the real time intelligence that classified assets might it does support operational planning.

The fact that the Pentagon plans to spend over $700 million a year on this type of support demonstrates its usefulness.

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