Lockheed Martin has clinched a firm-fixed-price contract of $890m from the SDA to build 18 space vehicles, enhancing global missile defence capabilities. 

The Tranche 2 Tracking Layer constellation marks a step in countering evolving missile threats worldwide.

The company will deliver 16 wide-field-of-view missile warning/missile tracking satellites armed with infrared sensors, and two additional space vehicles equipped with missile defence infrared sensors capable of generating fire control-quality tracks. This constellation will provide global indications and warnings and incorporate preliminary missile defence capabilities, including detecting hypersonic missile systems.

Lockheed Martin Corp will capture a 24.5% share of the missiles and missile defence systems market in North America, with forecast revenue of $41.5bn over the 2023–33, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Missiles & Missile Defense Systems Market 2023-2033” report. 

Michael Corriea, vice president of warning programmes at Lockheed Martin Space, emphasised the company’s commitment to supporting the SDA’s efforts amid rising missile threats. “As missile threats increase from around the world, we fully support the proliferated space architecture the SDA is building to protect our nation and allies,” Corriea stated. 

Lockheed Martin’s investment in digital and production technologies, coupled with its experience crafting SDA spacecraft, positions it as a player in delivering space capabilities.

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The Lockheed Martin-built T2 Tracking Layer satellites will feature a Terran Orbital bus and infrared missile tracking payloads provided by General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems – Optical Sensor Systems. Additionally, each satellite will be equipped with SmartSat, Lockheed Martin’s software platform facilitating dynamic mission adjustments through simple application uploads.

The 18 Tranche 2 spacecraft will undergo assembly, integration, and testing in Lockheed Martin’s small satellite processing facility in Colorado. The facility, tailored for high-volume satellite production, will deliver the space systems.

Leveraging its proven Horizon Command & Control and Compass Mission Planning software, Lockheed Martin will aim to ensure mission-critical capabilities, including orbit management, autonomous operations, and formation flying, enhancing the flexibility and adaptability of the Tranche 2 Tracking Layer constellation.