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Lockheed Martin Receives $5.8M DARPA Blackjack Contract

By | April 27, 2020

DARPA Blackjack Satellites. Photo: DARPA

Lockheed Martin has received a $5.8 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the first phase of satellite integration on the Blackjack program, the company announced Monday. The program looks to leverage commercial advances in Low-Earth Orbit to develop and demonstrate the critical elements for a global high-speed network in LEO for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). 

At this stage, Lockheed Martin will define and manage interfaces between Blackjack’s bus, payload and Pit Boss — its autonomous, space-based command and data processor. The contract also includes testbed validation of internal and external vehicle interfaces. Future phases of Blackjack are expected to include build, test, and launch of a demonstration constellation in 2021-2022. 

“Lockheed Martin has built and integrated a variety of payload types and sizes for every type of mission and we bring all of that experience to the Blackjack program,” said Sarah Reeves, Lockheed Martin vice president of Missile Defense Programs. “This is an exciting new approach to plug-n-play design for LEO and we are up for the challenge.”