NASA opens Space Apps Challenge

SPACE

Air Force space security contract comes with a bit of mystery

ManTech International has booked a 10-year, $158 million contract with Air Force Space Command for what the company calls “full-spectrum security services to protect mission-critical programs.”

That is just about all the government IT contractor has to say about the award, at least in terms of the release posted Tuesday.

A ManTech spokesman declined to comment on specifics of the work when I asked point-blank if additional comment was even possible, given the cryptic nature of the release. But I did learn this contract will extend the contractor-agency relationship to 41 years and ManTech expects the work to expand across additional Air Force organizations.

But this award extends ManTech’s work with the command and keeps this piece of the company’s footprint in a military space market growing in profile and importance to industry -- but also in relative secrecy.

Some public comments from government contractors indicate such and can certainly be inferred from. In an April earnings call, Raytheon was very light on details but said ground-based space control was an area of growing opportunity for its services business in particular.

Northrop Grumman’s June acquisition of Orbital ATK sought to position better for recapitalization of U.S. military space assets amid a growing competition for power in that domain against players like China and Russia.

And two months ago, Science Applications International Corp. disclosed a $255 million contract for systems engineering and technical assurance services to support U.S. space activities. SAIC did not name the government agency or agencies it will support, and did not really say much at all.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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