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Maxar Faces Competition From Startups In Satellite Imagery Business

The National Reconnaissance Office reached out to commercial firms that supply satellite images at the GEOINT 2019 and will soon start buying products from them instead of relying on its current single-supplier buyer arrangement with Digital Globe which has recently been renamed as Maxar Technologies. Under the previous agreement which had been signed in 2010 with DigitalGlobe and GeoEye, these firms were expected to supply satellite images under Enhanced View contract. But in 2012 the cut in expenditures by government forced the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) to cut down on its imagery budget.

After this cut Enhanced View’s budget was reduced by 50 % from $7 billion to $3.5 billion and merger of both companies under DigitalGlobe. To access its image library that is beamed down by WorldView-1, WorldView-2 and WorldView-3 satellites NRO pays around $300 million every year to Maxar under a new program renamed as EnhancedView Follow-On. The original decade long deal is set to expire in 2020 which was however extended by three years by paying around #300 million every year. NRO officials say that this extension was given to allow the agency time to transition towards a new procurement partner while continuing to buy content from Maxar.

Director of NRO’s geospatial intelligence directorate Troy Meink stated that in 2020 the agency will begin a new procurement plan which will include multiple firms. As a first step towards this procedure it has awarded 1 year contracts to Planet, BlackSky and Maxar to study their quality and gain better insight into their project size and capacity. He said that this opportunity will give new players significant opportunity to showcase their capabilities and will also provide more images to the agency which may also force it to spend more than annual budget of $300 million. A new division called Commercial Systems Program Office has been created by NRO to oversee procurement of these images.

Charles Nguyen
CHIEF EDITOR At Industry News Feed

With a BSc (Hons) Business & Management degree, Charles Nguyen started his writing career as a freelancer and, at present, is working as a full-fledged Senior Content Writer in our organization. He is given the responsibility to write reports and articles relating to the Business world, entailing mergers & acquisitions, deals & agreements, stock market, cryptocurrency, and much more. In free time, Charles tutors kids and youngsters in relation to business terms and conditions.

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