Rocket Lab Selects Subcontractors to Provide Payload and Ground Systems for SDA's Satellites

Rocket Lab Selects Subcontractors to Provide Payload and Ground Systems for SDA's Satellites

Rocket Lab USA, a global leader in launch services and space systems, announced it has completed the selection of subcontractors to provide payloads and ground systems for the 18 satellites the Company is developing for SDA (Space Development Agency).

Rocket Lab is the prime contractor for a $515 million USD firm-fixed price agreement to lead the design, development, production, test, and operations of 18 satellites for SDA’s Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Beta (T2TL - Beta) as part of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). The PWSA is a layered low-Earth orbit satellite constellation designed to deliver secure, low-latency communications and missile tracking capabilities for the U.S. Department of Defense.

The 18 satellites being developed by Rocket Lab will integrate subsystems and components built in-house by the Company, including solar panels, structures, star trackers, reaction wheels, radio, flight software, avionics, and launch dispensers. As prime contractor, Rocket Lab also leads the procurement and integration of the payloads and other subsystems and has selected the following companies as subcontractors to support the program.

CesiumAstro: An industry leader in active phased array communications technology for space and airborne systems, CesiumAstro will provide its Vireo active electronically scanned array (AESA) radio frequency (RF) communications payload. The payload will be the first multi-beam-capable Ka-band communications system operating in SDA’s PWSA.

Mynaric: A leading provider of free space optical communications terminals for air, space, and mobile applications, Mynaric has been selected to provide CONDOR Mk3 optical communication terminals.

SEAKR Engineering: SEAKR, a leading supplier of advanced payload and mission solutions, has been selected to provide the Tactical Satellite Communications (TACSATCOM) Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Network  Encryption System (NES).

Collins Aerospace: Collins Aerospace will be providing the waveform for the SDR, which is the software and firmware required to transmit and receive TACSATCOM.

Redwire Space: Redwire Space, a global leader in space infrastructure, has been selected to provide antennas and RF hardware.

Parsons Corporation: Parsons will be supplying the NEBULA Operations – Vendor Architecture (NOVA) which will be Rocket Lab’s ground system for managing operations for its 18 satellites.

Rocket Lab has a strong history of developing highly capable, resilient, and affordable space infrastructure. We’re excited to continue this heritage by delivering a reliable satellite constellation to SDA in support of PWSA,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “Rocket Lab technology has been delivering mission success in orbit for more than 20 years, so when we look for subcontractors to support our programs we select for performance and proven experience – something this hand-picked team has in abundance.” 

Click here to learn more about Rocket Lab on SatNow.

Publisher: SatNow

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013