Lockheed partners with Terran Orbital to build 36 satellites for T2TL-Beta variant

By Apurva Minchekar / October 25, 2023 at 1:59 PM

Lockheed Martin is joining forces with Terran Orbital Corp. to develop 36 buses for a constellation of military satellites scheduled to be launched in 2026, Terran Orbital said yesterday.

The 36 satellite buses are part of the 72 satellites for the Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Beta variant program announced by the Space Development Agency in August. The agency awarded 36 satellites each to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

Terran Orbital, in the announcement, said it would be delivering satellite buses to Lockheed, who will perform the “payload integration and jointly operate satellites with SDA.”

“SDA’s T2TL Beta constellation will advance the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture’s initial warfighting capability with targeted technology enhancements, mission-focused payload configurations and increased integration,” the company said.

Additionally, Lockheed has also awarded a $700 million contract to Terran Orbital to build 42 satellite buses for SDA’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer that is expected to lift off in late 2024.

According to Terran Orbital, the company completed a “critical design review and manufacturing readiness review” for T1TL satellite buses from its satellite production factory in Irvine, CA.

“The MRR confirmed Terran Orbital’s readiness to manufacture and deliver 42 T1TL satellite buses,” the announcement states.

Further, with the completion of T1TL CDR and MRR, Terran Orbital will now provide 42 satellites to Lockheed for payload integration and testing, which will take place in Lockheed’s newly opened satellite assembling factory near Denver.

Terran Orbital said the same factory near Denver will be utilized for payload integration and testing of 36 satellite buses for the T2TL- Beta variant program.

The company noted it also delivered 10 satellite buses last year to Lockheed for SDA’s Tranche 0 Transport Layer program.