SDA eyes RFP for up to 18 transport layer demonstration satellites

By Courtney Albon / October 13, 2021 at 12:54 PM

The Space Development Agency is preparing to release a request for proposals for a slate of demonstration and experimentation satellites meant to augment the Tranche 1 Transport Layer.

According to a draft RFP released Oct. 8, SDA anticipates the Tranche 1 Demonstration and Experimentation System (T1DES) will launch by May of 2025 and include up to 18 satellites -- including 12 “offeror-sourced” payloads and six developed by the government.

The agency plans to award a single contract for the effort.

Meanwhile, proposals were due last week for SDA’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer, which includes 126 satellites that will make up the agency’s initial warfighting capability. 

The Tranche 1 capability will build on that of the Tranche 0 transport satellites, which are currently in development, providing improved technology, integration and production efficiencies. 

“The T1TL will provide global communications access and deliver persistent regional encrypted connectivity in support of warfighter missions around the globe by serving as the backbone for Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control built on low-latency data transport, sensor-to-shooter connectivity and direct-to-weapon connectivity,” the RFP states.