Airbus US Space & Defense has been contracted to provide 42 satellite platforms as well as Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT), launch, and space vehicle commissioning support services to Northrop Grumman as part of the US Space Development Agency (SDA)’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer prototype constellation (T1TL) award.
The Transport Layer will serve as the backbone for SDA’s National Defense Space Architecture by providing assured, resilient, low-latency military data and connectivity worldwide to a full range of defense applications.
Derived from the flight-proven ARROW platform, the Airbus US solution expands on its commoditized satellite bus design providing more power and a larger payload accommodation. This modular solution offers a scalable 300-500 kg bus for the Northrop Grumman payload and future US Government missions.
“The SDA Tranche 1 Transport Layer is a critical national security program, and we are honored to support Northrop Grumman and the Space Development Agency,” said Rob Geckle, President and CEO of Airbus US Space and Defense. “This award underscores Airbus US’s mission to develop and deliver, in the US, technology critical to the US warfighter.”
Airbus US has designed a highly adaptable spacecraft platform and will utilize Airbus OneWeb Satellites (AOS), the Airbus US and OneWeb joint venture in Merritt Island, FL, to assemble it using their state-of-the-art production line. This line is currently delivering up to two satellites per day to OneWeb. AOS achieves this result through its mature supply chain and manufacturing approach. To date, this facility has already produced over 400 of the 648 satellites on order for OneWeb.