SDA Awards $1.8B in Tranche 1 Transport Layer Prototype Agreements to 3 Vendors; Derek Tournear Quoted

The Space Development Agency has awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) and York Space Systems prototype agreements valued at approximately $1.8 billion combined to build and demonstrate 126 satellites for the first tranche of the National Defense Space Architecture’s transport layer.

The Tranche 1 Transport Layer is expected to launch beginning in September 2024 to provide a data transport communication system, deliver persistent regional encrypted connectivity and serve as the Joint All Domain Command and Control’s backbone to support warfighter missions worldwide, the Department of Defense said Monday.

SDA awarded a prototype agreement worth about $700 million to Lockheed and another agreement valued at $692 million to Northrop. York Space Systems’ agreement with SDA is worth approximately $382 million.

“These awards will drive delivery of the NDSA’s data and communications Transport Layer through a proliferated constellation of relatively small, mass-producible space vehicles in low Earth orbit,” said Derek Tournear, director of SDA and a previous Wash100 Award winner.

The 126 satellites for T1TL will be divided into six orbital planes and each contractor will build a prototype constellation of 42 satellites in two near-polar LEO orbital planes.

“Through our solicitations, we aim to create a marketplace through two-year spiral development and regular, full and open solicitations for each tranche so that industry can plan, develop and grow accordingly,” added Tournear.

SDA evaluated the offers through an other transaction authorities solicitation. The agency issued a request for proposals for the T1TL program in August.

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