The U.S. Space Development Agency said Monday it awarded contracts to L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) to each build 14 missile tracking satellites for a new low Earth orbit constellation.
L3Harris (LHX) won a $700M contract and Northrop Grumman (NOC) was awarded a $617M deal to build the first tranche of the agency’s Tracking Layer for detecting, identifying and tracking hypersonic weapons and other advanced missiles from their earliest stages of launch through interception.
Each plane of seven satellites is planned for deployment over different locations around the globe, with the first launch projected for April 2025.
Tracking Layer satellites will be equipped to see targets with greater fidelity than current U.S. missile defense satellites in geostationary orbit 22K miles above the equator.
Northrop Grumman (NOC), teaming with Raytheon, also announced a successful completion of the second flight test of the scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept.