During February 2021 DARPA extended its Blackjack commitment with Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) by exercising part of an option to purchase six additional satellites from the company. The option stems from an original Blackjack order made with BCT in June 2020. DARPA is paying BCT US$26.5 million for the satellites included in this option.
These six units are reportedly expected to be completed by the end of 2022, following the original four satellites which are planned to be launched this year. The Blackjack programme is a DARPA project to provide high-speed, global communications to the US Government. It has the secondary objective of proving to the Government the capability and viability of small satellites for military missions compared to the traditional, bank-breaking institutional missions of old.
During December 2020 Raytheon Technologies completed its takeover of BCT, bringing the once independent newspace player into the fold of an oldspace giant.