Iridium, General Dynamics Partner to Pursue SDA’s Transport Layer Tranche 1 Management Contract

Iridium Communications (Nasdaq: IRDM) and General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) have submitted a joint proposal to the Space Development Agency to compete for a contract to manage and operate a $1.8 billion constellation of Transport Layer Tranche 1 satellites in low-Earth orbit, SpaceNews reported Saturday.

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In January, SDA issued a solicitation for the “ground operations and integration segment” of the first tranche of the National Defense Space Architecture’s transport layer, which seeks to move space-based data through optical links.

Iridium told the publication the company and General Dynamics Mission Systems teamed up to submit a bid to SDA in response to a request for proposals for a contract to provide systems integration support, manage ground stations, systems and facilities and oversee the daily operations of the satellite network.

SDA is evaluating proposals and expects to announce the selected vendor in the coming months, according to the report.

In February, SDA awarded prototype agreements to Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) and York Space Systems to build and demonstrate 126 satellites for the Transport Layer Tranche 1 constellation.

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