Date: Thursday, December 15, 2011, 12:59pm PST
Pacific Star Communications, Inc. Thursday announced a $12.2 million deal with the U.S. Department of Defense marking the largest contract in the company’s history.
Portland-based PacStar makes tactical communications systems, taking critical communications equipment from manufacturers such as Cisco and VMWare and packaging it into a ruggedized, portable form suitable for use in the field.
It also makes IQ-Core Software which provides an easy-to-use interface for its so-called “offices in a box.”
The deal announced Thursday calls for providing 225 of its mobile tactical communications units to U.S. forces in Afghanistan for use over wired 3G/4G, WiMax and satellite networks.
It will deliver another 450 units capable of connecting to broadband ethernet radio antennas made by Harris Corp.
CEO Bob Dunn said PacStar, which employs 51 and expects 2011 revenue of $58 million, had worked on winning this contract for more than a year.
“It’s very exciting for us, because we’re a small business and we think we have some pretty special, talented engineers and good solutions,” Dunn said.
The contract — which Dunn said is more than two times the size of the typical PacStar contract — also helps to validate the technology within the defense market.
“Four years ago when we were just getting started trying to create these solutions, we had a couple first-time customers that trusted us,” Dunn said. “Now we think we have a strong enough foundation that enough of the customers and systems integrators are paying attention to PacStar.”
That could portend more good things to come for PacStar.
But the announcement of the big defense contract also comes on the day that President Obama declares an official end to the war in Iraq.
Dunn, however, said that fact doesn’t limit PacStar’s market.
Portable communications kits are also applicable for use by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in disaster response efforts or banks and other corporations with operations in disaster areas.
“As long as companies like Riverbed Technology, VMware with virtualization, Cisco with routing, as long as they’re out there providing technology, there will be a need for tactical kits,” Dunn said.