U.S. Space Development Agency Makes Awards for 126 Satellites to Build Tranche 1 Transport Layer

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:28 AM, March 1, 2022
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U.S. Space Development Agency Makes Awards for 126 Satellites to Build Tranche 1 Transport Layer
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The Space Development Agency (SDA) today announced the awards of three prototype agreements worth approximately $1.8 billion to establish the foundation for Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL), a mesh network of 126 optically-interconnected space vehicles (SV).

The SVs will provide a resilient, low-latency, high-volume data transport communication system, and be ready for launch starting in September 2024.

These agreements are awarded to York Space Systems, Lockheed Martin Space, and Northrop Grumman Space Systems to each build and demonstrate effectiveness for two near-polar low Earth orbital planes of the six-plane T1TL, which forms the initial warfighting capability tranche of the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA).

“These awards will drive delivery of the NDSA’s data and communications Transport Layer through a proliferated constellation of relatively small, mass-producible space vehicles in low Earth orbit,” said Derek Tournear, SDA director. “Through our solicitations, we aim to create a marketplace through two-year spiral development and regular, full and open solicitations for each tranche so that industry can plan, develop and grow accordingly. We look forward to collaborating with our industry partners to deliver the capabilities the warfighter needs through Tranche 1 and beyond.” 

Tranche 1 Transport Layer will leverage and proliferate the capabilities being demonstrated in Tranche 0 Transport Layer with targeted technology enhancements, mission-focused payload configurations, increased integration, and greater production efficiencies. The T1TL will provide global communications access and deliver persistent regional encrypted connectivity in support of warfighter missions around the globe by serving as the backbone for Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) built on low-latency data transport, sensor-to-shooter connectivity, and direct-to-weapon platforms connectivity.

York Space Systems, Denver, is awarded a prototype agreement with a potential value of approximately $382 million to execute a research and development program for the development of a T1TL prototype constellation consisting of 42 satellites in two near-polar low Earth orbital planes (21 SVs for each orbital plane).

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Littleton, Colo., is awarded a prototype agreement with a potential value of approximately $700 million to execute a research and development program for the development of a T1TL prototype constellation consisting of 42 satellites in two near-polar low Earth orbital planes (21 SVs for each orbital plane).

Northrop Grumman Strategic Space Systems, Redondo Beach, Calif., is awarded a prototype agreement with potential value of approximately $692 million to execute a research and development program for the development of a T1TL prototype constellation consisting of 42 satellites in two near-polar low Earth orbital planes (21 SVs for each orbital plane).

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