Raytheon Technologies has received a contract for the design, production and delivery of a seven-vehicle missile tracking satellite for the US Space Development Agency (SDA).

Valued at more than $250m, the contract also requires the company to provide associated launch and ground operations support for the US agency.

The new seven-vehicle satellite constellation will be deployed into the low Earth orbit (LEO) after launch.

It will provide early warning, tracking and targeting capabilities to US forces to counter a wide range of existing and emerging missile threats, including advanced hypersonic missile systems.

The company will equip the new constellation with its Wide Field of View (WFOV) overhead persistent infrared sensors and Saturn-class microsatellite bus, developed by its Blue Canyon Technologies business.

It will also feature an electronics payload developed by Raytheon’s subsidiary SEAKR Engineering.

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For the associated work, Raytheon will use its available designs and other commercial products to reduce the technical risk, while ensuring rapid delivery of the satellites to the agency.

Work under the latest contract is one of the significant elements of SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, which aims to build a layered network of military satellites to support multi-domain terrestrial operations.

Raytheon Intelligence and Space Business Space and C2 president Dave Broadbent said: “Developing a resilient and affordable proliferated satellite constellation in LEO will improve our ability to track emerging threats like hypersonic missiles.

“Continuing to develop this architecture with SDA and our industry partners will be a high priority for us in the coming months.”

According to Raytheon, the deployment of this networked satellites constellation will mark the fifth plane of satellites provided by the company to support the US Department of Defense’s missile warning and tracking efforts.