HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Satellite antennas mounted within an inflatable sphere are being supplied to the U.S. Army by GATR Technologies under a contract worth as much as $440 million.
The five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity award was issued by the U.S. Army Project Manager, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, Product Manager Satellite Communications, Commercial SATCOM Terminal Program Office.
Under the contract, the Army, Marine Corps and other services will be able to procure the inflatable satellite antennas and associated hardware, services and support.
GATR's antenna is a flexible parabolic dish mounted within an inflatable sphere, reducing weight and packaged volume by as much as 80 percent and improving the agility of deployed military and disaster response personnel. Its larger dish size enables more efficient use of satellite bandwidth capacity, increasing bandwidth for users and allowing more users to communicate simultaneously.
U.S. and Allied militaries have fielded more than 300 GATR inflatable satellite terminals since 2008, the company said.
"We were extremely fortunate to leverage early Small Business Innovative Research contracts and Quick Reaction Funding from the Department of Defense to help us initially field and improve our technology," said GATR President Paul Gierow. "This contract allows conventional forces to take advantage of the same cost savings and lighter profile already benefiting the Special Operations community, Marine Corps Expeditionary Units, and other early adopters."