The Space Development Agency (SDA) has recently announced its solicitation for 100 satellites for the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). The SDA is seeking industry proposals for 100 “Alpha” satellites that will be part of the Tranche 2 Transport Layer (T2TL).
The PWSA is a constellation architecture designed for beyond line of sight targeting and advanced missile detection and tracking. It consists of a Tracking Layer and a Transport Layer. The Tranche 2 Transport Layer is expected to provide global communications access and deliver persistent regional encrypted connectivity to support warfighter missions worldwide.
The Alpha constellation, as described by the SDA, is divided into two sub-constellations: Alpha-Low and Alpha-High. Alpha-Low consists of four lowly inclined orbital planes with 19 space vehicles, while Alpha-High consists of six highly inclined orbital planes with four space vehicles.
All T2TL satellites will have baseline payloads and subsystems, including three optical communication terminals, a Ka-band payload, networking and data routing subsystems, and an S-band backup. In addition to these features, the SDA is specifically looking for a fourth optical communications terminal, a Link-16 payload, a battle management, command, control, and communications (BMC3) module, and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) situational awareness capability within the navigation subsystem for the Alpha satellites.
Industry proposals for the Alpha satellites will be accepted until July 28. SDA Director Derek Tournear mentioned at the Space Symposium in April that two vendors will likely be selected for the Alpha satellites. The Tranche 2 Transport Layer satellites will be similar to those currently being developed for the Tranche 1 Transport Layer but with technological enhancements. The launch of T2TL is scheduled to begin in September 2026.
York Space Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman have been contracted to build 42 satellites each for the Tranche 1 Transport Layer, totaling 126 satellites. The combined contracts for these satellites are worth $1.8 billion.