The Space Development Agency affiliated with Pentagon reported its award of satellite development tenders to Lockheed Martin and York Space. These firms will be developing satellites capable of interlinking and transferring data with the military operatives at the earthbound bases, ships, and airplanes from their location in the low-Earth orbit.
The two firms have received a funding of $281.5 million for these projects with the Space Development Agency. The firms will be supplying twenty satellites to form the Transport Layer Tranche 0 broadband constellation. The chief of SDA, Derek Tournear, explained in a webinar interview that the two firms have a deadline for delivering the satellite before the end of 2022.
The cut off if the SDA last year from the Pentagon framework of operations is to ensure that the agency can deliver military space systems earlier than the standard procedures of the Pentagon could allow. Tournear reported that the approval and inauguration of the operations of the Transport Layer Tranche 0 in a third of the year is one of the visible quick procedures that the agency needs to deliver on its agenda.
Tournear submitted that Lockheed Martin and York Space are the first partners in this project although more firms will be chosen by SDA to deploy more satellites for its constellation. He reiterates that SDA will not be biased in selecting a supplier of satellites for ita constellation with the only exception where a firm fails to outshine its competitors. Tournear says that this constellation will be peculiar with each batch of ten satellites having seven that contain four cross linkers for every spacecraft. The other three will either have two cross-links or downlinks for attachment to the next satellite.
The links will help the satellites to communicate the data they are sharing and transfer it to the required location by the customer they will be serving. The satellites with fewer links will be communicating or sending details for the activation of the weapon systems that they will be connected to preparing them for action.
The difference in prices of each contract will solely depend on the technology a satellite developer offers, the price details for each satellite, and the time taken to prepare and launch each satellite. Tournear explains that Lockheed Martin and York Space were specific when asked concerning these factors making it easy for them to be selected for the contracts. To summarize, Tournear explains that every satellite operator has the opportunity to choose their supplier of linking devices. The primary target of the SDA is to observe if the linking devices are reliable and efficient on the satellites.