Northrop Grumman will build 38 satellites for the SDA's Tranche 2 Transport Layer (T2TL)-Alpha constellation.
The U.S. Space Forces Space Development Agency (SDA) has awarded Northrop Grumman a $732m firm-fixed price Other Transaction Authorities (OTA) contract to build 38 satellites for the Tranche 2 Transport Layer (T2TL)-Alpha constellation.
The 100 Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Alpha satellites will be able to transmit beyond line-of-sight Link 16 data to military forces from space, while the Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Beta satellites are to transmit over Ultra High Frequency S-band for tactical satellite communications, and the future Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Gamma satellites are to use an advanced tactical data link.
The satellites are part of SDAs Low Earth Orbit-focused Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture. The Transport Layer will be the linchpin of DoDs future Joint All Domain Command and Control infrastructure, which features minimal lag time communications, sensor-to-shooter connectivity, and tactical satellite communication directly to platforms engaged in military operations. Tranche 2 is to have about 270 Transport and Tracking Layer satellites. The SDA Transport Layer satellites are to provide rapid sensor to shooter data, while the Tracking Layer satellites are to provide a significant leap in the detection and tracking of hypersonic and ballistic missiles.
According to the SDA, the Alpha satellites will provide global communications access and deliver persistent, regional, and encrypted connectivity to support missions like beyond-line-of-sight targeting and missile warning and missile tracking of advance missile threats as part of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture. The first orbital plane of the T2TL-Alpha constellation will be launched no later than September 2026.