Pentagon kicks off development on initial tranche of space defence programme

by Carlo Munoz

The Pentagon’s Space Development Agency (SDA) has kicked off development on the initial tranche of new satellite communications and networking systems, as part of the agency’s overarching National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA) strategy to detect, identify, and deter potential terrestrial and space-based threats.

Colorado-based York Space Systems and Lockheed Martin were awarded a pair of firm, fixed-price development contracts to develop and construct space platforms and related systems for the Transport Layer segment of the NDSA, said Mark Lewis, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. At a combined cost of USD218.5 million, the dual development deals for the “Tranche 0” variant of the Transport Layer technologies will cover development of “space vehicles and paths to optical inter-satellite link interoperability”, according to Pentagon officials.

Once mature, those Tranche 0 space platforms, systems, and technologies “will provide US warfighters with periodic regional access to low-latency data connectivity via space-based extensions of existing tactical data links”, Lewis said during a media briefing on 1 September. The satellite constellations developed and fielded under Tranche 0 and future iterations of Transport Layer technologies will result in “tens of satellites with optical inter-satellite links capable of sending and receiving wideband data to and from other space vehicles and ground stations”, Lewis said.

A US Marine Corps field radio operator from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit sets up satellite communication at Camp Korean Village, Iraq in 2008. The Pentagon’s Space Development Agency awarded contracts for the National Defense Space Architecture’s inaugural Transport Layer tranche, designed to provide regional satellite-based tactical datalink connectivity to US armed forces. (US Department of Defense )

A US Marine Corps field radio operator from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit sets up satellite communication at Camp Korean Village, Iraq in 2008. The Pentagon’s Space Development Agency awarded contracts for the National Defense Space Architecture’s inaugural Transport Layer tranche, designed to provide regional satellite-based tactical datalink connectivity to US armed forces. (US Department of Defense )

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/pentagon-kicks-off-development-on-initial-tranche-of-space-defence-programme

The Pentagon’s Space Development Agency (SDA) has kicked off development on the initial tranche of n...

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