SDA Awards Contract for Advanced Missile Tracking Technology

L3Harris will build a 14-vehicle satellite constellation that will include optical communications terminals, infrared mission payloads, Ka-band communications payloads and multiple pointing modes to identify and track missiles By DA Reporter / 20 Jul 2022
SDA Awards Contract for Advanced Missile Tracking Technology

L3Harris Technologies has been awarded a contract to build the Space Development Agency (SDA)’s Tranche 1 Tracking Layer satellite program to detect, identify and track advanced missile threats. 

As part of this contract, which has a potential total value of $700 million, L3Harris will build a 14-vehicle satellite constellation that will include optical communications terminals, infrared mission payloads, Ka-band communications payloads and multiple pointing modes, all specifically designed to identify and track the fastest missiles known to exist. The program also includes related ground, operations and sustainment support. 

“Investing in resilient space assets and acting as a Trusted Disruptor in this market are core to our long-term strategy,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “Our customers have been clear; missile defense technology and space domain awareness architecture must be diversified, and our teams are positioned to deliver those cutting edge solutions.”

“Flowing from our values as an organization prioritizing schedule, then cost, the Tranche 1 Tracking Layer went from solicitation to award in approximately 120 days and continues to demonstrate the Space Development Agency’s ability to acquire capabilities at speed,” said SDA director, Derek Tournear. “We look forward to collaborating with our industry partners to quickly deliver missile warning/missile tracking capabilities as part of the Department of Defense hybrid architecture that will provide critical and timely information to the joint warfighter in the very near future.”

L3Harris developed four prototype satellites under the SDA’s Tracking Layer Tranche 0 award in 2020. The four space vehicles produced under the $193 million firm fixed-price contract will launch in 2023.

“L3Harris is successfully executing SDA’s foundational Tracking Layer Tranche 0 program, which set their strategic way forward for rapidly deploying relevant mission capabilities to our nation’s warfighters,” said Kelle Wendling, President, Space Systems, L3Harris. “This Tranche 1 win demonstrates our ability to nimbly scale from initial demonstration to proliferation with enhanced mission capability, resilience, global coverage, and speed to deployment as threats continue to evolve.”

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