SDA taps General Dynamics to build out ground infrastructure for upcoming satellites

The contractor will expand and sustain the ground infrastructure needed to operate the agency’s second iteration of satellites, known as Tranche 2.
Integrated ground segments for the Navy's Mobile User Objective System (MUOS). (Photo by General Dynamics Mission Systems)

The Space Development Agency intends to award General Dynamics Mission Systems a sole-source contract to expand and sustain the ground infrastructure needed to operate the agency’s second iteration of satellites, known as Tranche 2.

The award is for the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture Ground Management and Integration (PWSA GMI) effort, which “will establish a robust, integrated, and extensible enterprise Ground Segment architecture, leveraging commercial cloud infrastructure in alignment with an aggressive launch and capability expansion campaign,” according to a notice posted on on Thursday.

No dollar amount for the award was immediately announced.

The PWSA is an ongoing effort by the Space Development Agency to rapidly acquire and launch hundreds of small satellites carrying critical warfighting capabilities into low-Earth orbit. The agency plans to launch the satellites in batches, known as “tranches.”


The first tranche with accessible warfighting capabilities, Tranche 1, is scheduled to launch in September 2024.

General Dynamics Mission Systems received a $324.5 million contract in 2022 to establish and sustain the ground operations and integration segment of the Tranche 1 satellites. The seven-year contract included a base amount of more than $162.9 million, with more than $161.5 million in options.

The initial contract involved producing a common ground architecture that integrates space- and ground-based segments from the constellation’s multiple vendors in different satellite configurations. According to the latest award notice, the PWSI GMI effort now aims to mature those ground components.

The incumbent will also provide all services required for expanding, integrating, testing and maintaining Tranche 2’s ground infrastructure — such as “ground entry points, operations centers, enterprise test and checkout capabilities and infrastructure management, including all development, systems engineering, integration, testing, maintenance, and site support,” the notice stated.

The announcement said a sole-source award to General Dynamics Mission Systems is justified due to the likelihood that a contract with another contractor would result in “substantial duplication of cost to the Government that is not expected to be recovered through competition and unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency’s requirements.”

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