SpaceX, L3Harris win Space Development Agency contracts to build missile-warning satellites

SDA Director Derek Tournear said SpaceX “came in with an extremely credible proposal” that leverages the Starlink assembly line

WASHINGTON — The Space Development Agency awarded SpaceX a $149 million contract and L3Harris a $193.5 million contract to each build four satellites to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles.

The contracts announced Oct. 5 are for the first eight satellites of a potentially much larger Space Development Agency constellation of sensor satellites known as Tracking Layer Tranche 0. This is SpaceX’s first military contract to produce satellites. 

Both companies have to each deliver four satellites by September 2022, Space Development Agency Director Derek Tournear told SpaceNews.

Each satellite will have a “wide field of view” overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) sensor capable of detecting and tracking advanced missile threats from low Earth orbit. Each satellite also will have an optical crosslink so it can pass data to relay satellites. 

Tournear

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