The U.S. Space Force (USSF) is attempting to optimize its commercial industry use by opening avenues for small businesses to work directly with the service branch. While the commercial industry has already played a significant role in the military's satellite communications and launch enterprises, the Space Force has not incorporated integrated commercial services more widely. C4isrnet reported the story on Friday.
Col. Russell Teehan, portfolio architect at the Space and Missile Systems Center, said, “As we go through the force design for the next ten years, the commercial is vital across every mission area. In nearly every mission area, we’re looking for rapid tech innovation. We’re looking for hybrid architectures. And in a lot of cases, we’re looking for commercial partnerships that lead us directly to allied partnerships in many of these areas.”
Teehan explained that the Space Force wants to incorporate commercial industry into every aspect of its operations. Recently, the USSF has used large and experienced aerospace and information technology firms to build intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems along with launch services to get those systems into operation outside Earth’s atmosphere.
“The old ecosystem was geared towards large primes that have eight to 15-year toeholds within a mission area or with a particular system, and the small businesses were in small business innovation research, and their only hope of coming up was to be integrated into some of those larger primes, but a lot of the ecosystems we’re working with now, we’re trying to offer opportunities, like in software programs, where the small businesses can come directly into the ecosystem and into the market, added Teehan.
The Space Force has created more opportunities for small businesses and nontraditional vendors to present new ideas and technologies and win contracts to actualize their visions. For example, the service set up events like Space Pitch Day to give small businesses a chance to interact with officials and officers.