The US Space Force’s Space Development Agency (SDA) has released a solicitation for Tranche 2 (T2) of the SDA Tracking Layer. The goal is to have the first launch by April 30, 2027.
The T2 Tracking scope aims to procure and deploy 54 trackers, with the potential for additional units. The desired capabilities for the Tracking Layer include high revisit rates, low latency, improved persistence, autonomous operations, and compatibility with an open architecture.
The Tracking Layer is a key component of the SDA’s National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA), which is designed to provide advanced space capabilities to enhance national security. It is intended to support multiple missions, including missile tracking and detection, battlespace awareness, and target tracking.
Tranche 1 (T1) of the Tracking Layer, awarded to Northrop Grumman in October 2020, aims to demonstrate the ability to track ballistic and hypersonic missile threats. T1 is set to launch in late 2022.
The release of the solicitation for T2 indicates the SDA’s commitment to advancing the capabilities of the Tracking Layer. Proposals for T2 are expected to be submitted by interested industry partners, and the SDA will evaluate them based on technical and operational merit.
Once the proposals are evaluated and a contract is awarded, the selected contractor will work on the design, development, production, and deployment of the T2 Tracking Layer. The SDA’s goal is to have the first T2 Tracking Layer launch within the next six years.
The advancement of the Tracking Layer is a significant step forward in the US Space Force’s efforts to maintain space superiority and protect national security interests. It demonstrates the commitment to leverage advanced technologies and partnerships with industry to enhance space capabilities.