WASHINGTON — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency increased Lockheed Martin’s contract for satellite integration work for the Blackjack program by $25.3 million, the agency announced Sept. 7.
Lockheed Martin is the satellite integrator for Blackjack, a project to demonstrate the capabilities of small satellites in low Earth orbit for military communications, missile warning and navigation.
The company had previously received contracts for $13.1 million and $27.3 million. The new modification brings the total value of the contract to $65.8 million.
DARPA plans to launch 12 satellites next year on a SpaceX Falcon9 rideshare.
The agency ordered 10 buses from Blue Canyon Technologies and two from Telesat. Several companies, including Raytheon, SEAKR Engineering and SA Photonics are supplying payloads that Lockheed Martin integrates with the buses and the Pit Boss autonomous data processor. The work is done at Lockheed’s manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, California.
The technology developed in the Blackjack program also is supporting the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency which is working on a large network of communications and missile-warning satellites in low Earth orbit.