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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Raytheon, Airbus get second shot at huge satellite deal

In light of pushback from disappointed bidders, the Space Development Agency is backing off a pair of awards to take a second look at its decision.

SDA had awarded a pair of Tranche 0 Tracking Layer contracts to L3Harris Technologies and SpaceX worth about $342 million. They were to each build four satellites for tracking hypersonic weapons and other next-generation advanced missile threats.

Eventually, there would be a constellations of hundreds of satellites that would collect and distribute data on potential threats.

Also vying for the work was Raytheon and Airbus’ U.S. subsidiary. Both complained to the Government Accountability Office that the evaluation of proposals was not conducted properly.

Something in their protests triggered second thoughts at SDA, which has now pulled back the awards to L3Harris and SpaceX. The agency will be reevaluating proposals, which effectively puts Raytheon and Airbus back in the competition.

The contracts are part of the National Defense Space Architecture program to include a layer of tracking satellites and a layer of transport satellites. The transport contracts worth $187.5 million went to Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems.

Perspecta clinched a separate $111 million contract for mission systems engineering and integration services.

Tranche 0 was expected to be fielded in 2022 to test concepts and how data can fit into battle plans. Tranche 1 in 2024 would add hundreds more in 2024, then Tranche 2 in 2026 would complete the system that will have global coverage.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 23, 2020 at 9:28 AM

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