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Lawmakers Petition White House to Save GeoEye, DigitalGlobe Satellite Program

Photo: Yggdrasill

Amidst the Defense Department‘s budget reduction efforts, lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to mar cutting of a joint developed commercial satellite program worth $7 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

The program that may be cut was developed by GeoEye Inc. and DigitalGlobe Inc., as part of the EnhancedView program, which provides commercial satellite imagery to intelligence and defense communities.

In the letter, signed by five Republicans and seven Democrats including Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), lawmakers urged “the department and the intelligence community to sustain it.”

Both companies have received contracts “designed to support existing government satellites,” said the report. GeoEye’s contract with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency totals $3.8 billion while DigitalGlobe won a $3.55 billion contract.

While the letter acknowledges the “enormity of the challenge,” it asks that the department handles reductions “in a balanced and objective manner and ensure that the capability needed in the future is not irreparably lost.”

The letter defines the program at stake as one which the companies have already committed $1 billion of private investments for a 10-year government contract. Cutting it would result in “loss of credibility,” according to the lawmakers.

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