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L3Harris, SpaceX Win SDA Contracts to Build Missile Tracking Satellites

6 Oct 2020, 13:53 UTC
L3Harris, SpaceX Win SDA Contracts to Build Missile Tracking Satellites
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National Defense Space Architecture tracking layer. (Credit: Department of Defense)

WASHINGTON (DOD PR) — The Space Development Agency announced today that two companies won bids to build out Tranche 0 of the tracking layer for the National Defense Space Architecture. Together, those contracts amount to more than $342 million.

Both L3Harris Technologies, Inc., of Melbourne, Florida, and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., of Hawthorne, California, also known as SpaceX, were successful in their bids to participate in the NDSA.

Each company is expected to build four overhead persistent infrared imaging, or OPIR, satellites for the tracking layer of the NDSA. Those satellites should be ready by the end of fiscal year 2022.

“The satellites will be able to provide missile tracking data for hypersonic glide vehicles and the next generation of advanced missile threats,” said Derek Tournear, the director of the Space Development Agency.

Tournear said both L3Harris and SpaceX will build satellites of their own design, but that meet criteria set by the SDA. They must all be able to do the missile tracking mission, and then also be able to communicate directly with transport layer satellites via laser communications link.

This most recent contract award is the second for ...

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