Lockheed Martin Wins $187.5M Contract to Build Small Satellite Mesh Network; Kay Sears Quoted

3 mins read
Kay Sears
Kay Sears VP Military Space Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a  $187.5 million Tranche 0 contract of the Space Transport Layer from the Space Development Agency (SDA). Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will develop a mesh network of 10 small satellites that links terrestrial warfighting domains to space sensors by 2022.

“We see a world across all warfighting domains where fourth and fifth-generation fighters and tactical forces on the ground can connect seamlessly with holistic situational awareness,” said Kay Sears, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Military Space, as well as a 2016 Wash100 Award recipient, “Interoperability and battlespace connectivity are critical to staying ahead of our adversaries.”

The contract award is an initial test and demonstration phase, with two prime contractors who will develop a total of 20 satellites. Lockheed Martin’s satellite network will support Joint All-Domain Operations, allowing warfighters to stay ahead of emerging threats. 

Lockheed Martin’s network will link nodes together to support a seamless connectivity between all domains. The 10 satellites, operating in Low Earth Orbit, will provide secure high-bandwidth, low-latency data links. The Link 16 network connectivity will be introduced to space. 

The company will connect to systems that include fighter aircraft like F-16, F-22, and F-35, missile defense networks like PAC-3 and THAAD, weapons systems and Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) networks, as well as provide sensor-to-shooter targeting and situational awareness for tactical land and maritime warfighters.

Lockheed Martin will develop the communication system to extend U.S. warfighting options and allow additional coalition and allied partners to merge their capabilities into the network. The satellites will also be fully cyber-hardened from day one using Lockheed Martin’s Cyber Resiliency Level model to identify cyber strengths and weaknesses so we can address those early in the design process.

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