The Space Development Agency has completed an orbital insertion of 13 satellites from Lockheed Martin, SpaceX and York Space Systems, marking the second launch under an initiative to demonstrate missile warning and tracking capabilities for the U.S. military.
SDA said Saturday’s Tranche 0 Transport Layer mission took off at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 reusable rocket to demonstrate low-latency data connectivity, beyond-line-of-sight targeting, on-orbit fusion and multiphenomenology ground-based sensor fusion upon reaching low Earth orbit.
Lockheed manufactured 10 Transport satellites for the mission, while York produced one Transport unit and Elon Musk’s space venture built two Tracking satellites.
The additional TO units for SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture launched five months after the agency’s inaugural deployment effort.
Johnathon Caldwell, vice president and general manager of the military space line of business at Lockheed, wrote in a LinkedIn post the company’s inaugural Transport Layer deployment reflects its commitment to supporting the agency in efforts to field proliferated, multiorbit architectures with smaller satellites.
The Bethesda, Maryland-based contractor equipped its satellites for SDA with a Terran Orbital bus and payload processors, a SmartSat software platform and Link 16 encrypted radios.
SDA noted a Missile Defense Agency mission slated for later this year will include a third and final batch of TO Tracking satellites.