Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch: Gov’t Needs to Establish Procurement Strategy for Commercial Satcom

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch of Inmarsat Government has said industry stakeholders are concerned about the lack of a long-term acquisition strategy for commercial satellite communication services within the government, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.

“If they don’t have procurement and O&M [operations and maintenance] funds, then the $49.5M in [research, development, testing and evaluation] will not be enough to institute change,” said Cowen-Hirsch, senior vice president for government strategy and policy at Inmarsat Government.

“If they don’t put in place a full program with procurement and O&M, then the money would be used perhaps to stand up an office and put some interesting ‘thought processes’ together on how to integrate heterogenous networks,” she noted.

Cowen-Hirsch added that she considers the decision to establish a new program line for commercial satcom a “big move,” which she thinks would remain “incomplete” if the U.S. Air Force fails to determine the purpose of the RDT&E funds.

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