- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Private space exploration firm SpaceX is expanding its defense contracting portfolio after it was awarded a $150 million contract to develop military satellites.

The company, owned by Elon Musk, was chosen for the project “for the design, development, and launch of a constellation of satellites equipped with wide field of view overhead persistent infrared sensors capable of detecting and tracking advanced missile threats,” the Pentagon said Monday.

L3Harris Technologies was also awarded a $193 million contract for the project that will specifically focus on the Space Development Agency’s “tracking layer.”

“These awards represent the next major step toward fielding the National Defense Space Architecture,” SDA Director Derek Tournear said in a statement following the announcement.

He explained that the tracking layer is an “integral part of the Department’s overall overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) strategy to detect, track, and defeat advanced missile threats. We are confident these fixed-price awards will help us deliver the initial tranche of the Tracking Layer on schedule.”

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