[SatNews] Exelis (NYSE:XLS) and Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) have successfully demonstrated a new global-reach communications capability for the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Distributed Tactical Communication System (DTCS).
The capability, once deployed, will advance the Department of Defense’s critical satellite communications network, bringing secure, reliable and truly global communications services to users in the defense and intelligence community operating anywhere on Earth. In partnership with DISA’s Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) program office, the team demonstrated real-time, push-to-talk voice and data communications that connected users in regions across the globe, including Virginia, Arizona, Hawaii, Alaska, Australia and locations within the Arctic Circle. Multiple radios deployed within each region demonstrated the ability to simultaneously connect with those nearby as well as with others thousands of miles away.
“This successful demonstration is the first step in a major capability evolution for DTCS,” said Mark Adams, vice president and general manager of the Exelis specialty applications business. “We remain committed to DISA’s goal of providing DTCS users with more powerful communication tools and an improved overall user experience, regardless of global location.”
The global services capability will provide command and control, as well as situational awareness, through inter-theater, on-the-move communications between distributed tactical units and multiple echelons of command around the world. The demonstration was carried out by leveraging currently fielded technology, with some enhancements made to software and DISA communications infrastructure.
“Industry has worked closely with the U.S. government to rapidly develop these new DTCS Global Services capabilities,” said Scott Scheimreif, executive vice president, government programs, Iridium. “In an era of declining budgets, leveraging Iridium’s global satellite network has enabled the Department of Defense to deploy advanced technology with specialized capabilities for the warfighter at a fraction of the cost and schedule of typical military systems.”
Exelis received the DTCS Global Services contract from the EMSS program office in May 2013. Since then, the company has worked collaboratively with Iridium and DoD representatives to define a capability roadmap for the global satellite communication system.
For additional information, please download the Exelis infosheet at this direct link.
Iridium's infolink regarding EMSS is located at https://www.iridium.com/EMSS.aspx
The DISA Network Services infosite is accessible at http://www.disa.mil/Services/Network-Services/Satellite/DTCS