Northrop to Build 38 Data Transport Satellites in Space Development Agency's Next Gen Low-Earth Orbit Constellation of Connectivity

These satellites will provide data transport capabilities to support U.S. military missions around the world
  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 11:58 AM, October 31, 2023
  • 498
Northrop to Build 38 Data Transport Satellites in Space Development Agency's Next Gen Low-Earth Orbit Constellation of Connectivity
Artist’s rendering of Northrop’s Tranche 2 Transport Layer satellites on orbit.

The Space Development Agency (SDA) has awarded Northrop Grumman a $732 million contract to design and build 38 data transport satellites for the Tranche 2 Transport Layer – Alpha (T2TL-Alpha) project, part of the SDA's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA) in low-Earth orbit.

This award follows a previous one in August 2023 for 36 satellites for Tranche 2 Transport Layer – Beta (T2TL-Beta), with both Alpha and Beta satellites designed to interoperate in orbit.

The contract covers satellite construction, ground infrastructure support, and five years of operations and sustainment, with a scheduled launch in December 2026. These satellites primarily serve U.S. military missions worldwide by providing low-latency, high-volume data transport, crucial for secure communication and command and control.

Northrop Grumman also secured a separate contract for Tranche 1 Transport Layer 1 (T1TL) with similar data transport capabilities.

The PWSA includes two core components: the Transport Layer, ensuring data connectivity for military missions globally, and the Tracking Layer, focusing on missile detection and tracking for national security. Both layers are designed to interoperate in space, facilitating seamless communication among satellites from various manufacturers, creating a secure and persistent network critical for Joint All Domain Command Control.

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