Maxar, in a securities filing, said its 10-year EOCL contract is worth up to $3.24 billion – with a five year base contract of $1.5 billion and optional contracts worth up to $1.74 billion. BlackSky’s contract is worth up to $1.02 billion over 10 years, the company disclosed in a filing.
NRO touted the contracts as “a historic expansion” of its acquisition strategy, noting that the increasing availability of commercial companies’ imagery “increases our resilience and enables an integrated approach” to national security. The NRO is the U.S. agency that manages a breadth of satellite intelligence capabilities, including operating its own classified satellites.
BlackSky shares jumped as much as 99% in trading while Planet’s rose 14% and Maxar’s climbed 20%, from the stocks’ previous closes of $1.18 a share, $5.02 a share, and $24.48 a share, respectively.
The NRO award comes under its Electro-Optical Commercial Layer, or EOCL, program, which the intelligence agency says will support over half-a-million federal users over the next decade.
The EOCL deal has been long-awaited, with Maxar previously serving as the NRO’s sole provider of commercially-acquired satellite imagery. While Maxar may be losing a lucrative monopoly, Wall Street analysts do not expect the new competition to hurt the company – with the total addressable market for satellite imagery having grown.