WASHINGTON — The Space Development Agency on Sept. 5 released a solicitation for 54 satellites equipped with infrared sensors capable of tracking hypersonic missiles in all phases of flight.
The satellites will be part of SDA’s Tranche 2 Tracking Layer, a network of satellites in low orbit 1,000 kilometers above Earth. Proposals are due Oct. 5. The agency plans to split the contract among an unspecified number of vendors.
SDA has already acquired four Tranche 0 Tracking Layer satellites from SpaceX, and four from L3Harris. It ordered 14 Tranche 1 satellites from L3Harris, 14 from Northrop Grumman and seven from Raytheon Technologies. To date, only the SpaceX tracking satellites have been launched to orbit.