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Senate Panel OKs Intell Authorization Measure; Mark Warner Comments

senateThe Senate Intelligence Committee has included an amendment in the intelligence authorization bill for the facilitation of commercial satellite platforms with the country’s satellite architecture.

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) developed the amendment with Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Angus King (I-Maine), Warner’s office said June 24.

“Our current approach to overhead satellites is increasingly unsustainable due to growing costs, long design time, lack of competition, and an inability to take advantage of rapid innovation in the private sector,” Warner said.

The amendment would require the defense secretary, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence to craft a strategy to protect the satellite infrastructure from space threats through benchmarks and milestones.

That amendment also aims to promote enterprise-based acquisition processes and consider the satellite systems’ performance and cost tradeoffs.

“Given the cost of maintaining our satellite infrastructure and the dangers and constraints imposed by the threat of anti-satellite weapons, our space infrastructure will be stronger and more efficient if it integrates the commercial satellite industry along with defense and intelligence capabilities,” Warner added.

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