Army, DataPath strike deal for satellite communication services

In a step to help improve its ability to conduct network-centric warfare, the Army Communications-Electronics Command awarded DataPath Inc. a $42.4 million contract for custom satellite terminals and associated services.

The contract extends the Army's Joint Network Node initiative to provide enhanced communications services to National Guard units in Iraq and provides additional capabilities to the Marine Corps' wide area network initiatives for video storage and logistics support.

DataPath solutions provide an interoperable IT infrastructure for both the Army and the Marine Corps.

The company will deliver DataPath ET 3000 Portable trailer-based satellite Earth terminals and DataPath DKET 5000 Transportable self-contained satellite Earth terminals. The company also will provide the Army with associated integrated logistics, depot as well as technical and engineering support.

Deployed extensively in Iraq, the Joint Network Node initiative is a network-centric communications architecture that currently provides portable communications to the Army 3rd Infantry, 101st Airborne, 4th Infantry and 10th Mountain divisions.

The video storage WAN initiative provides the Marine Corps with in-theater visibility and intelligence to conduct reconnaissance, coordinate mission planning as well as fine-tune air and artillery targeting. The initiative delivers real-time communications and provides storage and retrieval capabilities via video-on-demand to support strategic analysis and command requirements.

The logistics support WAN gives the Marine Corps network-centric supply chain capabilities to serve the logistics requirements of warfighters on the front line.

DataPath is providing a solution built on two custom versions of its DataPath ET 3000 Portable for battlefield communications to multiple Army National Guard units and the Marine Corps.

This provides a mobile satellite telecommunications platform configurable for operation in the Ku-band frequency and for simultaneous Single Channel per Carrier/Time Division Multiple Access carrier transmission. DataPath is also delivering two custom versions of the DataPath DKET 5000 Transportable to the Army to enhance the existing hub infrastructure in Iraq.

The DataPath 3000 is a compact trailer-based satellite Earth terminal that delivers a tactical, rugged communications gateway to battalions that allows them to acquire a satellite signal within minutes and link field units back to headquarters or war rooms in real time. A third-generation Earth terminal, the DataPath 3000 is specifically designed for sustained and reliable field operation with minimal maintenance by forward-deployed warfighters.

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication Washington Technology.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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