24/7 Space News
Pentagon awards contracts for next 'swarm' of tiny missile defense satellites
File illustration of Northrop Grumman Tranche 1 satellites.
Pentagon awards contracts for next 'swarm' of tiny missile defense satellites
by Don Jacobson
Washington DC (UPI) Aug 22, 2023

The Pentagon announced Monday it has awarded $1.5 billion to contractors Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin for a "swarm" of 72 tiny prototype satellites meant to detect incoming enemy missiles.

The Space Development Agency said each company will build and operate 36 of the satellites, with approximately $816 million going to Lockheed Martin and $733 million to Northrop Grumman for the project.

The small satellites, each about one-eighth the size of current satellites, constitute the "Tranche 2 Transport Layer" of the U.S. Space Force's planned Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, which when fully deployed will include nearly 1,000 craft in low orbit around the Earth.

The first 28 satellites, called Tranche 0, are scheduled to be launched this year. The first 10 members of the fleet were deployed into low Earth orbit on April 2.

Tranche 1, made up of more than 160 satellites, will follow in late 2024, while Tranche 2's swarm of 72 satellites is scheduled for a 2026 delivery, according to SDA Director Derek Tournear.

"Tranche 2 brings global persistence for all our capabilities in Tranche 1 and adds advanced tactical data links and future proliferated missions," he said in a statement, adding that the newest models include "advanced tactical communication technology."

The Pentagon says the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture is meant to overcome the problems of relying on just a handful big missile defense satellites in placed in geosynchronous orbit 22,000 miles above the Earth, currently tasked with tracking ballistic and hypersonic missiles, especially those coming from China, Russia, and North Korea.

Diminutive satellites designed to operate together are cheaper and can be developed much more quickly, and because they are in low orbit at about 600 miles, are better at detecting a new types of hypersonic missiles which fly closer to the ground than traditional intercontinental ballistic missiles, military officials say.

Their small size and "proliferated" nature also make them a much less inviting target than a single, large-scale satellite, according to the Pentagon.

Source: United Press International

Related Links
Space Development Agency
The latest information about the Commercial Satellite Industry

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
SpaceX successfully launches another batch of Starlink satellites
Miami FL (UPI) Aug 11, 2023
SpaceX early Friday successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket with a payload of 22 Starlink satellites into space from Florida's famed Cape Canaveral. The rocket launched at 1:17 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station after liftoff was bumped slightly ahead in the launch window. Weather appeared to have been the cause for the delay, as the launch mission execution forecast states that thunderstorms had hit Florida Thursday night, presenting a 40% chance of ... read more

Indian lunar lander splits from propulsion module in key step

NASA challenges students to fly Earth and Space experiments

US seeks to extend China science accord, but only briefly for now

Embracing the future we need

Rocket Lab inks dedicated launch deal with Japanese EO company iQPS

NASA SpaceX Crew-7 'Go' for August 25 Launch

Rocket Lab Launches 40th Electron Mission, Successfully Flies Reused Engine

Elon Musk arrives in Japan for first visit since 2014

Martian Tapas With a View: Sols 3926-3927

Delight at Dream Lake

Scientists proposed to adapt a Mars ISRU system to the changing Mars environment

A 'Blissful' Martian Rock Paradise, Straight Ahead: Sols 3919-3920

From rice to quantum gas: China's targets pioneering space research

China to launch "Innovation X Scientific Flight" program, applications open worldwide

Scientists reveal blueprint of China's lunar water-ice probe mission

Shenzhou 15 crew share memorable moments from Tiangong Station mission

Atlas Credit Partners provides $100M strategic financing to AST SpaceMobile

Momentus announces reverse stock split

Pentagon awards contracts for next 'swarm' of tiny missile defense satellites

Intelsat completes C-Band spectrum clearing for 5G Deployment

True Anomaly opens GravityWorks; gains federal clearances for space operations

MIT engineers use kirigami to make ultrastrong, lightweight structures

China's new rules on AI-generated content

Taiwan's antique jade dealers see trade losing lustre

Size dependence and the collisional dynamics of protoplanetary dust growth

A "Jupiter" hotter than the Sun

Study explains how part of the nucleolus evolved

Watch an exoplanet's 17-year journey around its star

Neptune's Disappearing Clouds Linked to the Solar Cycle

The Road to Jupiter: Two decades of trajectory optimization

NASA's Europa probe gets a hotline to Earth

All Eyes on the Ice Giants

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.