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SDA kicks off Tranche 2 prototype development for PWSA

A US Marine Corps field radio operator from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit sets up satellite communication at Camp Korean Village, Iraq, in 2008. (US Department of Defense)

The Pentagon's Space Development Agency (SDA) is soliciting industry proposals for space vehicle (SV) prototype variants and associated payloads for the Transport Layer of the agency's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA).

PWSA programme officials are looking to acquire 100 Tranche 2 Transport Layer (T2TL) ‘Alpha' variant low-Earth orbit (LEO) SVs and associated payloads, which will be divided into two LEO sub-constellations, according to a draft SDA solicitation issued on 12 May.

The first sub-constellation, dubbed T2TL Alpha-Low, will comprise 19 Alpha SVs spread across four “lowly inclined orbital planes”, the draft solicitation stated. To support the T2TL Alpha-High sub-constellation, agency officials are aiming to launch four Alpha SVs and have them operate across six separate “highly inclined orbital planes”, it added.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) “expects to make T2TL Alpha awards to multiple vendors, subject to available funding … [and] each offeror shall propose to develop two lowly inclined orbital planes of 19 T2TL Alpha SVs and three highly inclined orbital planes of four SVs, along with the associated ground systems and operations and sustainment capability”, the 12 May draft solicitation noted.

The 12 May draft T2TL Alpha industry solicitation was issued days after the SDA released on 9 May an industry notice calling for proposals on T2TL prototype ‘Beta' variant SVs and associated payloads. The 9 May notice called for development and procurement of 72 LEO SVs and payloads, with development to be spread across three separate vendors.

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