Akima subsidiary wins $480M Space Force satellite control contract

Gettyimages.com / Yuichiro Chino

Space Force awards this job amid its effort to increase the capacity of its Satellite Control Network comprising 19 globally distributed antennas.

A subsidiary of Akima Corp. has won a potential 10-year, $480 million contract to work with Space Force on operating and maintaining the service branch's primary satellite control network.

Space Force received two bids in total for the contract that was reserved only for 8(a) small businesses to pursue, the Pentagon said in its Friday awards digest.

The Satellite Control Network is a system of 19 globally distributed antennas that supports launch and day-to-day control of U.S. government satellites, including those used for defense and intelligence programs.

Space Force is working on ways to increase the SCN's capacity by exploring the use of commercial antennas and those operated by other federal agencies, according to a Government Accountability Office report on the network from 2023.

The service branch is also working to develop and acquire 12 new, higher-capacity antennas with plans for the first prototype to be delivered in 2025.

As for the winner -- Five Rivers Analytics touts itself as a provider of classified IT and mission support services that support the communications and security requirements of its government clients.

Space Force will use the new contract dubbed STORMS to acquire services across areas such as mission partner support, remote site support and local purchasing.

The Satellite Control Network Tracking Station Operations Remote Site and Mission Partner Support contract is the successor to CAMMO, or Consolidated Air Force Satellite Control Network Modifications and Maintenance Operations.

CACI International is the incumbent on CAMMO and has received approximately $577 million in obligations since that contract's start in 2016, according to GovTribe data. But the recompete's nature as an 8(a)-only contest meant CACI could not bid as a prime, and no large business could for that matter.

Work under the new contract will take place over a five-year base period, followed by a single five-year option that would extend it to the full 10-year duration.