Systems In In The Usa
Global surveillance and communications would be the obvious missions for Blackjack-funded prototype constellations, but there have been talks about broadening the scope to more complex assignments such as space-based battle management. DARPA will take on the initial development and engineering work for the next three years and later could turn over prototype systems to the U.S. Air Force for further testing and possibly operational use. The basic formula will be to attach military-unique sensors and payloads to commercial satellite buses. DARPA plans to award $117.5 million in contracts over three phases to up to eight bus or payload suppliers. According to DARPAs solicitation, there will be additional contract awards down the road for autonomy hardware and software, launch services, ground systems and constellation flight operations.
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