Terran Orbital [LLAP] said on Oct. 24 that it has received a Lockheed Martin

[LMT] contract to build 36 satellite buses for the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Beta constellation.

Terran Orbital is also building 42 buses for Lockheed Martin for the SDA Tranche 1 Transport Layer under a $700 million SDA contract to Lockheed Martin (Defense Daily, Feb. 28, 2022). SDA also awarded Northrop Grumman [NOC] $692 million for 42 Tranche 1 Transport Layer satellites and York Space Systems $382 million for 42 of the satellites.

The Tranche 1 satellites are to begin launch in September next year and are to be the first SDA satellites to take part in military operations. The Tranche 1 Transport Layer satellites are to provide resilient, high volume, minimal lag time communications through optical links to other satellites and the broadcast of Link 16 L-band Radio Frequency data to any DoD Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) terminal.

In August, SDA awarded Lockheed Martin’s Space division in Littleton, Colo. and Northrop Grumman‘s [NOC] Space Systems segment in Redondo Beach, Calif. more than $1.5 billion for 72 Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Beta satellites–36 by each company (Defense Daily, Aug. 21). Lockheed Martin is to build those satellites at the company’s recently opened small satellite plant in Littleton near Denver.

While the Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Alpha satellites are to use Link 16, the Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Beta satellites are to transmit over Ultra High Frequency S-band for tactical satellite communications, and the future Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Gamma satellites are to use an advanced tactical data link.

While SDA had planned on 44 Gamma birds, SDA Director Derek Tournear said last week that the requirement is now 20 Gamma satellites, as SDA is in discussions with a third, possible Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Beta vendor to put the advanced tactical data link on 24 additional Beta satellites.

Terran Orbital said that it will deliver the 42 Tranche 1, Transport Layer satellite buses to Lockheed Martin “for payload integration and testing in the company’s new 20,000-square-foot small satellite assembly facility near Denver.”

“The same facilities will eventually be used for payload integration and testing of the 36 T2TL [Tranche 2, Transport Layer] Beta satellite buses,” Terran Orbital said.

The company also built the 10 satellite buses for Lockheed Martin’s 10 Tranche 0, Transport Layer satellites now in orbit.

While Terran Orbital has been building satellite buses and has received high dollar contracts from Lockheed Martin and Rivada Space Networks, Terran Orbital shares have traded below $1 since Sept. 25, and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) notified the company on Oct. 20 that it would have a six month cure period in which share price would have to cross the $1 threshold, or NYSE could de-list the company.