US SDA awards contracts to SpaceX and L3 Harris for new missile warning and tracking satellites

by | Oct 6, 2020 | Constellation, Military space, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX, Technology

The Space Development Agency (SDA), USA, on 5 October announced it had awarded satellite development contracts to two companies. The contracts cover the inaugural, “Tranche 0”, satellites for a planned missile warning and tracking constellation. US companies SpaceX and L3 Harris are the recipients and are to each provide four in-orbit units by September 2022.

The constellation is to be known as “Tracking Layer”. It is intended to provide global visibility for military users. These initial satellites will only provide “Wide Field of View” (WFOV) capabilities. Later units are planned to carry a “Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor” (HBTSS) instrument which has input from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Together WFOV- and, narrower field, HBTSS-equipped satellites will form a singular integrated constellation.

 

Tracking Layer satellites will also need to carry optical inter-satellite links, which will enable them to interact and make use of another planned SDA constellation, “Transport Layer”. Details of this endeavour are covered in a previous Seradata article here.

The SpaceX contract is valued at US$149 million whereas, the L3 Harris one is worth US$193 million. It is believed that the difference in contract values is rooted in the company proposals: L3 Harris is providing a in-house satellite platform and payload whilst, SpaceX will be utilising its Starlink platform but will need to sub-contract for its payload.

 

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

SpaceX receives contract to launch multiple Space Development Agency satellites

As a last hurrah on 31 December 2020, SpaceX was awarded the launch contract for the 28 satellites the Space Read more

SpaceX successfully launches another Starlink batch but loses the first-stage during landing attempt (Updated)

Lifting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 0359 GMT on 16 February, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried the second Read more

NASA awards launch contract to SpaceX and orders a lunar lander from Firefly

A NASA announcement on 4 February 2021 outlines the award of the SPHEREx launch contract to SpaceX. SPHEREx (Spectro-Photometer for Read more

SpaceX completes another Starlink launch

At 0619 GMT on 4 February, SpaceX launched another 60 Starlink satellites into LEO. The mission saw a Falcon 9 Read more

US Senators plead with Biden for more money for NASA human lunar lander

With just over one quarter of the funding it needed from Congress (US$850 million versus the US$3.2 billion requested) for Read more

Close but no cigar (again): like its predecessor Starship SN9 test flight goes well until explosive crash landing fires up FAA controversy further

Just as the Starship SN8 test launch ended in an explosive landing failure in December – after all the hard Read more

Businessman offers up US$100 million to part fund charity spaceflight on SpaceX Crew Dragon/Falcon 9 combo

The businessman/entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, 37, who is founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, has chartered a SpaceX Crew Dragon flight Read more

Initial Starlink launch of 2021 sees 60 more sats added and first eight-time booster landing

Lifting-off at 1302 GMT on 20 January, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral carrying 60 Starlink Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website

Categories

Archives