SpaceX Lands $150M SDA Contract to Launch Satellites for ‘Tranche 0′ Missile-Tracking Layer

SpaceX has secured a potential $150.5M contract to deploy satellites to low-Earth orbit in support of the Space Development Agency's plan to establish a space defense layer for tracking ballistic missiles.

The company will provide launch services for the Tranche 0 Transport and Tracking Layer under the firm-fixed-price contract, the Department of Defense said Thursday.

SDA expects the first mission to take place in September 2022 and aims to have an entire constellation deployed to orbit by March 31 of the following year.

The agency will obligate fiscal 2020 and 2021 defense-wide research, development, test and evaluation funds at the time of award.

In May last year, SDA sought information on potential contractors that could send a maximum of 30 satellites to orbit for the National Defense Space Architecture’s Tranche 0 layer.

SDA then issued a solicitation for launch services in October and announced plans to reevaluate bids for the construction of Tranche 0 tracking satellites last month.

According to the agency, the transport layer is envisioned to include over 500 LEO satellites meant to operate in Ka-band frequency and support low-latency military communications worldwide.

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