(Reuters) – Elon Musk’s SpaceX has won a 14 149 million (11 114.8 million) contract to build missile-tracking satellites for the Pentagon, the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA) said Monday, in the company’s first government contract to build satellites.
SpaceX, known for its reusable rockets and astronaut capsules, is increasing satellite production for Starlink, the rising star of hundreds of Internet-beaming satellites or chief executive Elon Musk hopes to help SpaceX achieve its interplanetary goals.
Under the SDA agreement, SpaceX, Redmond, and Washington will use its Starlink assembly plant in Washington to build four satellites equipped with a wide-angle infrared missile-tracking sensor provided by a subcontractor.
Technol Company G Company L Harris Technologies Inc. Earlier, Harris Corporation received 193 193 million to build four more satellites. Both companies are expected to deliver satellites for launch by fall 2022.
The award is part of the first phase of the acquisition of satellites to detect and track missiles such as SDA’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM), which can travel long distances and are challenging to track and intercept.
In 2019, SpaceX received 28 28 million from the Air Force to use the newly built Starlink satellite network to test encrypted Internet services with a number of military aircraft, although the Air Force has not ordered any Starlink satellites of its own.
Reported by Joy Roulet; Edited by Greg Mitchell