Lockheed Martin deploys 10 satellites for SDA’s space mission


Lockheed Martin has successfully deployed 10 satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO) today, significantly advancing the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 0 Transport Layer (T0TL) mission. The T0TL is a proliferated LEO constellation aiming to demonstrate low-latency communication and establish a resilient network of integrated space capabilities. The milestone marks an important step for Lockheed Martin and SDA in fortifying the United States’ military capabilities in space.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Takes Off From Vandenberg Space Force Base

The small satellites were launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 7:26 a.m. PDT. Shortly after the liftoff, SDA confirmed the successful separation of all 10 Lockheed Martin-built satellites from the launch vehicle. “We’re proud to contribute our expertise to this mission aimed at strengthening deterrence and delivering advanced military capabilities in space,” said Joe Rickers, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Protected Communications.

Satellites successfully launched by Lockheed Martin into Low-Earth Orbit via SpaceX Falcon 9

Satellites successfully launched by Lockheed Martin into Low-Earth Orbit via SpaceX Falcon 9. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Lockheed Martin’s Satellites Feature Terran Orbital Bus and SmartSat Platform

Each Lockheed Martin satellite is equipped with a Terran Orbital bus, payload processors, and SmartSat, Lockheed Martin’s advanced software platform. SmartSat allows for dynamic mission adjustments in orbit via simple app uploads. Furthermore, the satellites host Link 16 radios, a terrestrial-proven network now introduced into space. Link-16 will facilitate sensor-to-shooter targeting by connecting systems such as fighter aircraft and Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) networks.

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Future SDA Projects: Lockheed Martin Building 42 Satellites for Tranche 1

Lockheed Martin has been contracted to build an additional 42 satellites for SDA’s upcoming Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL). The company also recently secured an agreement to construct 36 of SDA’s 72 Beta variant satellites for its Tranche 2 Transport Layer (T2TL) constellation. These future satellites will be assembled, integrated, and tested at Lockheed Martin’s state-of-the-art small satellite (smallsat) processing facility designed for high-volume satellite delivery.

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Lockheed Martin Collaborating with Industry Leaders for Revolutionary Space Development

Lockheed Martin is actively collaborating with leading minds in the industry to support the SDA mission, promising to enhance national security space capabilities. A focus on diverse supplier bases and small business partnerships, combined with streamlined smallsat processing methods, positions Lockheed Martin at the forefront of technology innovation and accelerated delivery in the space sector.

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The launch and satellite deployment signify a critical achievement in the expanding partnership between Lockheed Martin and the Space Development Agency, further solidifying their collective efforts to advance U.S. space capabilities and national security.

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