U.S. Space Development Agency Awards $1.3 Billion for 28 Missile-Tracking Satellites

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  • 05:34 PM, July 18, 2022
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U.S. Space Development Agency Awards $1.3 Billion for 28 Missile-Tracking Satellites
Space Development Agency satellite concept

The US Space Development Agency (SDA) today announced the award of two prototype agreements worth over $1.3 billion to set up 28 satellites providing the initial missile warning/missile tracking capability of the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA).
The agreements are awarded to teams led by L3Harris Technologies, and Northrop Grumman Strategic Space Systems to each build a space segment consisting of two planes with seven space vehicles per plane – 14 satellites from each performer for a total of 28 satellites in four planes – to collect infrared data and provide network communications.
Each agreement includes a launch services segment for launch preparation, and a ground segment for operations and sustainment.These satellites will begin to launch in April 2025.
These prototypes will provide global and persistent indications, detection, warning, tracking, and identification of conventional and advanced missile threats, including hypersonic missile systems.
“The T1 Tracking Layer effort is a critical step toward building the National Defense Space Architecture,” said Derek Tournear, SDA director. “SDA is confident that the two teams provide the best overall solution to accelerate delivery of a low-Earth orbit constellation with wide-field-of-view infrared sensors for a global missile warning and missile tracking capability in Tranche 1, on schedule.”
The Tranche 1 Tracking Layer will build upon the Tranche 0 Tracking Layer capabilities with targeted technology enhancements, expanded coverage, increased integration, established calibration processes, and greater production efficiencies.
The Tracking Layer is focused on developing a global constellation of infrared missile warning and missile tracking satellites that integrate with the Transport Layer’s low-latency meshed communication network, enabling conventional and advanced missile tracking from proliferated low-Earth orbit.
SDA published the Tranche 1 Tracking Layer solicitation on March 17, two days after the President signed the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill into law. Leveraging Other Transaction Authority, SDA completed a competitive source selection and finalized the agreements within four months of the published solicitation.

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