The contract for the first phase of the Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements program, or SeeMe, was issued by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and is worth $1.5 million.
"Leveraging our state-of-the-art missile assembly lines, we can mass produce these small, lightweight satellites quickly and affordably," said Tom Bussing, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president of Advanced Missile Systems.
"As the world's only producer of exoatmospheric kill vehicles, we are already developing and building hardware to space standards."
Raytheon said the SeeMe program will allow on-demand imagery information to be transmitted directly to troops in the field.
Working with Raytheon on the contract are Sierra Nevada Corp., University of Arizona and SRI International, which will assist with design work and eventually production.
Raytheon expects to build six satellites for ground testing next year in the second phase of the program.