The Space Development Agency (SDA) has announced a $1.5 billion award to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to develop and operate satellites making up the Tranche 2 transport layer (T2TL) of SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA) program.

The T2TL project consists of a 72-satellite constellation that will “form the foundation of Tranche 2 of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA), which will incorporate 216 communication satellites in the future,” stated the agency, which is a component of the U.S. Space Force.

“We are now solidly in the procurement phase for Tranche 2 of the PWSA to support a 2026 delivery,” said Derek Tournear, SDA director. “Tranche 2 brings global persistence for all our capabilities in Tranche 1 and adds advanced tactical data links and future proliferated missions.”

The agreement gives approximately $816 million to Lockheed Martin to develop 36 satellites, while giving $733 million to Northrop Grumman for another 36 satellites.

The project will provide “multi-band global communications access and persistent encrypted connectivity for warfighter missions,” stated the agency.

“The Transport Layer will [also] be the space backbone for the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) infrastructure with low-latency data transport, sensor-to-shooter connectivity, and tactical satellite communication (TACSATCOM) direct to the platform,” SDA said.

The SDA launched its first wave of satellites of its Tranche 0 satellites earlier this year, and aims to launch its Tranche 1 wave of satellites in late 2024, which will be slated to provide warfighters with satellite capabilities by 2025.

“The Beta variant of the Tranche 2 Transport Layer vehicles are similar to Tranche 1 Transport Layer vehicles while also integrating advanced tactical communication technology demonstrated by the Tranche 1 Development and Experimentation System (T1DES),” said Tournear.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.