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Lockheed Martin selects MDA to build antennas for SDA Tranche 1 programme

Under the deal, MDA will design and build antennas and antenna control electronics for Lockheed Martin’s 42 Tranche 1 satellites.

Lockheed Martin has subcontracted work on its Space Development Agency (SDA) Tranche 1 Transport Layer programme to Canadian manufacturer MDA.

MDA will design and build antennas and antenna control electronics for the 42 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to be produced by Lockheed Martin as part of SDA’s T1TL constellation. This includes steerable Ka-Band and Link-16 antennas, as well as the satellites’ GPS antennas.

Speaking about the contract, Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA, said: “We are proud to be expanding our relationship with Lockheed Martin by teaming up on this critical space security programme. Our track record of designing and developing industry-leading satellite constellations – including our previous work on SDA’s Tranche 0 Transport and Tracking system – combined with our state-of-the-art high-volume production facilities ideally position MDA to deliver multiple constellation missions for various applications.”

Lockheed Martin was recently awarded one of three prototype agreements by the SDA to establish the T1TL, a mesh network of 126 optically-interconnected space vehicles that will provide a resilient, low-latency, high-volume data transport communication system as part of the National Defense Space Architecture.

The contract will be added to MDA’s backlog in Q2 of fiscal 2022, with the work expected to be completed over the next 24 months.