Rendering of missile-tracking satellites in low Earth orbit.
Rendering of missile-tracking satellites in low Earth orbit. Credit: Raytheon Technologies

WASHINGTON — Mynaric will supply laser communications terminals for seven military satellites made by Raytheon Technologies, the company announced June 21.

The optical communications terminals are for missile-tracking satellites that Raytheon is making under a $250 million contract from the Space Development Agency (SDA).

These satellites will be part of SDA’s Tranche 1 Tracking Layer, a network of 35 satellites that also includes 14 spacecraft made by Northrop Grumman and 14 made by L3Harris Technologies. They are projected to launch in 2025. 

Each satellite has a wide field-of-view infrared sensor, three optical communications terminals, and a Ka-band payload for communications. 

These satellites in low-Earth orbit are designed to detect, identify and track hypersonic weapons and other advanced missiles from their earliest stages of launch through interception.

Deliveries projected in 2024

Mynaric will supply Condor Mk3 terminals to Raytheon, with deliveries expected in 2024.

Mynaric CEO Bulent Altan, Chief Commercial Officer Tina Ghataore, and CTO Joachim Horwath hold a mockup of the CONDOR Mk3 laser terminal.

Last year Mynaric announced it will supply 42 Condor Mk3 terminals for Northrop Grumman’s 14 Tracking Layer satellites. 

The latest order from Raytheon gives Mynaric a dominant position as an optical terminals provider for SDA’s proliferated constellation. The company, headquartered in Munich, Germany, operates in the United States in Los Angeles, California, and Washington, D.C.

L3Harris last year announced a strategic investment in Mynaric. In 2021 Mynaric established a strategic supplier relationship with Northrop Grumman.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...