Sierra Space Secures Major Military Satellite Contract Alongside Defense Primes


Sierra Space has joined forces with defense industry giants to secure a substantial satellite contract with the military. The Space Development Agency (SDA) has awarded Sierra Space, Lockheed Martin, and L3Harris with contracts to collectively build 54 satellites, amounting to a staggering $2.5 billion. This announcement comes hot on the heels of Rocket Lab’s recent contract win of up to $515 million.

Key Takeaway

Sierra Space, alongside Lockheed Martin and L3Harris, has been awarded a substantial contract by the Space Development Agency to collectively build 54 satellites, marking a significant expansion of the company’s involvement in the military satellite market.

Expanding Market Opportunities

The decision by the SDA to include Sierra Space in this significant contract underscores the increasing diversification within the military satellite market. Traditionally dominated by defense primes, the market is now witnessing a surge in interest from companies such as Sierra Space, reflecting a notable shift in the industry landscape.

Strategic Significance

The 54 satellites will play a pivotal role in the SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, forming a comprehensive missile detection and tracking constellation in low Earth orbit. These satellites will be deployed in “tranches,” with each of the three companies tasked with building 18 satellites for the Tranche 2 Tracking Layer. L3Harris’s contract is valued at $919 million, Lockheed Martin’s at $890 million, and Sierra Space’s at $740 million.

Industry Response

SDA director Derek Tournear expressed satisfaction in welcoming Sierra Space as a prime vendor on Team SDA, emphasizing the industry’s agile response to the demand for the agency’s spiral development model. The satellites will be equipped with infrared sensors, with a subset dedicated to missile defense capable of generating “fire control-quality tracks” to guide interceptors.

Market Evolution

While Lockheed Martin and L3Harris have a history of securing satellite manufacturing contracts with the SDA, this marks Sierra Space’s first award of this nature. Known for its Dream Chaser spaceplane and Orbital Reef private space station project, Sierra Space is now venturing into large-scale satellite manufacturing, signaling a significant expansion of its portfolio.

Future Prospects

The 54 satellites are slated for launch no later than April 2027, underscoring the strategic importance of this development in bolstering the military’s space capabilities and enhancing national security.

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