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Lockheed Martin to deliver 36 small satellites to US Space Development Agency

The US Space Development Agency (SDA) has awarded Lockheed Martin a firm-fixed price agreement valued at approximately US$816 million ($1.26 billion) to build 36 Tranche 2 Transport Layer (T2TL) Beta satellites. T2TL is part of an overarching plan to strengthen deterrence with more resilient space architectures for beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) targeting, data transport, and advanced missile detection and tracking.

The T2TL Beta variant satellites will work in tandem with SDA’s Tranche 1 and Tranche 2 networks. They will advance the initial warfighting capability with targeted technology enhancements, mission-focused payload configurations, and increased integration.

“Tranche 2 will significantly enhance our warfighters’ capabilities and establish new levels of resiliency, connectivity, and orbital diversity that are necessary for countering future threats,” said Joe Rickers, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Protected Communications. “SDA’s unique acquisition approach expedites the proliferation of this critical technology, and Lockheed Martin’s strategic partnerships with a network of suppliers and small businesses will ensure we’re aligned with SDA’s strategy for accelerated delivery.”

T2TL Beta will consist of 72 satellites and will be deployed into orbit over a series of launches beginning in 2026 and will undergo a continuous checkout and commissioning process for acceptance into operations. With this award, Lockheed Martin will deliver at least 88 data communications satellites for SDA’s low-Earth orbit military constellation. The company’s 10 Tranche 0 Transport Layer(T0TL) satellites will launch in 2023, while its 42 Tranche 1 satellites are in production and on track for a 2024 launch.

Lockheed Martin will deliver advanced technology on its T2TL Beta satellites to enable the proliferated global network and maintain the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture’s technological and military advantages in space through a hybrid enterprise.

To deliver and innovate at speed and scale, Lockheed Martin recently opened a 20,000 square-foot small satellite processing center that is scaled to efficiently assemble, integrate and test smallsats. The facility, which will house Lockheed Martin’s T1TL and T2TL Beta satellites, features six parallel assembly lines and dedicated test chambers to deliver 180 satellites or more per year to help enable customers’ strategy.

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