Telesat U.S. Services has been awarded a DARPA contract to develop and demonstrate in-orbit commercial LEO spacecraft buses for DARPA’s Blackjack program and will deliver two spacecraft in less than one year to showcase the in-orbit use of Optical Inter-Satellite Links for government requirements, Telesat said. The program award is valued at $18.3 million.
Telesat had closed an initial Blackjack contract for system engineering and interface definition in 2018.
“(A)dditional Telesat LEO spacecraft may be procured to fully populate the Blackjack constellation, which represents a total contract value of up to $175.6 million if all options are exercised.”
The Blackjack program is a demonstration of LEO satellites in hybrid commercial-government constellations offering highly resilient space systems, global persistence, low latency communications and rapid technology refresh, Telesat said.