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Rocket Lab Secures $515M Satellite Contract Reportedly Part of SDA Tranche 2 Project

Satellite manufacturing

Rocket Lab Secures $515M Satellite Contract Reportedly Part of SDA Tranche 2 Project

Rocket Lab has received a new contract to build 18 satellites, reportedly from the Space Development Agency.

In a recent regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the space launch provider and satellite maker said it was awarded a $515 million contract, a development that boosts its Photon satellite business that started in 2019, SpaceNews reported.

The SEC filing further disclosed that work will begin immediately, as the launch is expected for 2027, while operation of the satellites will continue until 2030, with an option to continue through 2033.

The satellites are believed to form part of the SDA Transport Layer Tranche 2 Beta, enabling beyond line-of-sight connectivity for the military. The project involves sending satellites equipped with radios using ultra-high frequency and S-band frequencies for voice and low-speed data transmissions.

Tranche 2 will also feature a global positioning system alternative, addressing the shortcomings of the GPS for positioning, navigation and timing data used by the Department of Defense.

Besides Rocket Lab, Northrop Grumman is also involved in the second phase of the project. The defense contractor won a $732 million contract to build 38 Alpha satellites with five years of satellite operations and sustainment services and support for ground elements.

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Category: Space

Tags: Rocket Lab satellite space Space Development Agency SpaceNews US Space Force