Raytheon Secures DARPA Contract to Construct Payload for Blackjack Program

Jeff Brody

A senior executive at Raytheon announced that the company has secured a contract to build one of the payloads for the Blackjack program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Breaking Defense reported Friday.

Wallis Laughrey, vice president of Raytheon Space Systems, said that Blackjack project involves spacecraft busses, sensors, mission management and payloads.

“Raytheon was selected as a Phase I Blackjack payload performer and is designing a payload to [program design review,]” he said at the 2019 Paris Air Show. “Phase 1 focuses on the research and the exploration for the development of the system requirements and preliminary designs.”

Under the contract, the company is working with satellite bus developers to demonstrate its payload architecture.

DARPA aims to conduct a design review for the Blackjack payloads and busses by the end of the third quarter this year and to demonstrate satellites in orbit by 2022.

In addition, as part of the U.S. Air Force’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program, which will deploy three satellites in geosynchronous orbit and two in polar orbit, prime contractor Lockheed Martin awarded a contract to Raytheon to develop payloads for the geosynchronous orbit satellites.

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