Lockheed Martin has awarded a contract to MDA under the US Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) programme.

Under the new contract, MDA will design and develop antennas and antenna control electronics for a total of 42 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

The 42 LEO satellites are being produced by Lockheed Martin for the SDA’s T1TL constellation programme.

The work also includes steerable Ka-Band, along with Link-16 and GPS antennas, for the satellites.

The work related to the new contract is expected to complete in the next two years and will be added to MDA’s backlog in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2022 (FY22).

MDA CEO Mike Greenley said: “We are proud to be expanding our relationship with Lockheed Martin by teaming up on this critical space security programme.

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“Our track record of designing and developing industry-leading satellite constellations – including our previous work on SDA’s Tranche 0 Transport and Tracking system – combined with our state-of-the-art high-volume production facilities ideally position MDA to deliver multiple constellation missions for various applications.”

Earlier in March, the SDA awarded a $1.8bn contract to build a satellite communications layer to support the T1TL programme.

Under this $1.8bn contract, Lockheed Martin was awarded $700m for one of three prototype agreements by the SDA to develop the T1TL or a mesh network of 126 optically interconnected space vehicles.

The network of space vehicles will provide a low-latency, resilient and high-volume data transport communication system to support the National Defense Space Architecture.

The other two agreements were awarded to York Space Systems and Northrop Grumman Space Systems to support the T1TL programme.