Nick Bucci: General Atomics Seeks Production Boost for Defense-Focused Small Satellites

General Atomics plans to increase production of small satellites such as 6U Cubesats and 1,100-pound satellites for defense clients, Space News reported Thursday.

“Since we’ve acquired Miltech we’ve done a lot of investment in taking the lessons learned from how we build and design those satellites to improve our current generation of satellite design,” Nick Bucci, vice president of missile defense and space systems at General Atomic’s electromagnetic systems group, told the publication Wednesday at the Association of the U.S. Army conference.

General Atomics purchased aerospace and defense technical services business Miltec from Ducommun in 2016 in an effort to increase its technical expertise in small satellite and hypersonic vehicle development.

Bucci said the company also plans to leverage its experience in railgun development to build a large electromagnetic rail system that will work to launch small satellites into space.

“It would be probably faster and certainly cheaper if you could do it as compared to having to build a rocket specifically to launch,” Bucci said of the railgun-based satellite launcher.

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