York Space receives $200 million contract from Space Development Agency for satellite development

To develop and run 12 satellites with test military communications payloads, the Space Development Agency gave York Space Systems a contract worth up to $200 million. On September 30, the agreement was made, and on October 6, it was made public. In low Earth orbit, SDA, a division of the U.S. Space Force, is developing the first internet-in-space constellation for the military. The T1DES, also known as the Tranche 1 Demonstration and Experimentation System, will use the 12 satellites that York will build. These 12 satellites will be equipped with S-band and UHF military communications payloads, which are currently used by geostationary satellites to deliver mobile wireless services. If these payloads can provide the same benefit from low Earth orbit, SDA intends to test that. During a conference call with journalists on October 6, SDA Director Derek Tournear stated that the agency is conducting this experiment with 12 satellites since repositioning these communications payloads to far lower orbits presents significant technical obstacles. He stated that to demonstrate the technology's viability in LEO, where Doppler shift variations and similar issues exist, we first demonstrate that it can be used in geosynchronous orbit. Purchasing and integrating the communications payloads will fall under York's purview, and the company will also be required to offer a sizable amount of onboard computing power, according to Tournear. He said that here is where the actual technological problem resides. He claimed that the advancements made by the commercial the T1DES experiment. SDA placed a February order for 126 satellites for its Tranche 1 al sector in the usage of supercomputing in low Earth orbit had made it possible foTransport Layer mesh network, which is scheduled to launch in 2024. These satellites will be equipped with optical laser terminals, tactical Link 16 connectivity, and Ka-band radio payloads to transmit data both in space and to the ground. Under a $382 million contract, York Space Systems is building 42 Tranche 1 Transport Layer satellites. Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin will provide the others. In August 2020, contracts were also awarded to York Space and Lockheed Martin to provide 10 satellites each for Transport Layer Tranche 0. Tournear claimed that T1DES was a full and open competition, and concluded that York offered the government the best value for delivering on time, at a reasonable price, and meeting our demonstration requirements. Although he referred to York's bid for the 12 satellites as "cheap," he was unable to comment on the costs proposed by the other five bidders who also competed for the contract. Due to York's ability to produce satellites in-house, as opposed to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, who purchase satellite buses from partner firms and integrate them, its prices in the Transport Layer Tranche 1 bid were significantly lower than those of its rivals. Although firms like York Space, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and L3 Harris have frequently won SDA contracts, Tournear has insisted that the agency does not intend to continue purchasing satellites from the same suppliers indefinitely and instead plans to foster a competitive environment where firms will have chances to win contracts every two years. According to Tournear, We Remain Committed to Continuing to Offer Regular Opportunities Through Our Spiral Development Model To Promote A Marketplace Of Industry Partners. The company has drawn investors thanks to York's run of success with SDA contracts. York Space Systems' majority stake will be purchased, the private equity firm AE Industrial Partners stated on Tuesday. Starting in the fiscal year 2025, four different missions are anticipated to send the 12 T1DES satellites into orbit. Ten satellites will be launched with each launch: three T1DES and seven Tracking Layer Tranche 1 satellites. A projected network of space sensors called the 28-satellite Tracking Layer is intended to find and follow ballistic and hypersonic missiles.