In the development of space technology and defence capabilities, Terran Orbital Corporation was selected by Lockheed Martin to produce 18 satellite buses for the US Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 2 Tracking Layer (T2TL) project.

At the beginning of this year, the US Space Development Agency (SDA) awarded L3Harris a $919m contract to construct 18 infrared (IR) space vehicles, marking progress on its T2TL. 

GlobalData’s “Thematic Intelligence: Space Systems in Aerospace and Defense (2023)” report highlights that SpaceX received a $149m contract from the SDA to supply four satellites. These satellites, alongside four supplied by L3Harris Technologies, will form Tranche 0 of the SDA’s Tracking Layer constellation, itself part of the wider National Defense Space Architecture.

Lockheed Martin’s decision to entrust Terran Orbital with this subcontract shows the confidence placed in the company. Marc Bell, Terran Orbital’s Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, expressed pride in the continued partnership, highlighting the significance of this endeavour for advancing space capabilities. “We’re proud to once again be selected as the trusted space vehicle provider for Lockheed Martin, especially for the SDA’s critical tracking mission,”,” said Bell. “We are excited to leverage our expertise and deliver these advanced space vehicles to support the SDA’s mission objectives.”

The 18 satellite buses produced in California by Terran Orbital, will be integrated into Lockheed Martin’s T2TL satellites, enhancing their functionality and performance. These satellites will play a role in providing global, persistent indications, detection, warning, and tracking of both conventional and advanced missile threats, including hypersonic missile systems. Additionally, the incorporation of fire control-quality sensors in the constellation will deliver preliminary missile defence capability, further strengthening national security measures.

Lockheed Martin reported net earnings of $1.54bn in Q1 FY24, a decrease of 8.5% from the same period last year. Despite this, the reported quarter saw a 10% increase in net sales for the Space business. 

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