In an effort to counter the rising threat of hypersonic weapons, the Space Development Agency is accelerating its plan to launch 28 new satellites by 2025. Theresa Hitchens of BreakingDefense.com writes (abridged):
Raytheon Technologies today announced it has been awarded a contract worth more than $250 million from the Space Development Agency (SDA) to build seven missile warning/tracking satellites — an award that stems from a congressional funding boost in the fiscal 2023 defense appropriations act, an SDA spokesperson told Breaking Defense.
Raytheon Press release March 2nd, 2023:
Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) received an award valued at more than $250 million to design, develop and deliver a seven-vehicle missile tracking satellite constellation, as well as support launch and ground operations by the Space Development Agency.
Once deployed, the low-Earth orbit constellation of networked satellites will become the fifth plane of satellites providing missile warning and tracking for the Department of Defense. The program is a key element of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture.
“Developing a resilient and affordable proliferated satellite constellation in low-Earth orbit will improve our ability to track emerging threats like hypersonic missiles,” said Dave Broadbent, president of Space & C2 at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “Continuing to develop this architecture with SDA and our industry partners will be a high priority for us in the coming months.”
The omnibus spending package, signed by President Joe Biden on Dec. 29, included $250 million specifically designed to help Indo-Pacific Command keep tabs on Chinese ballistic and hypersonic missile launches. The spending bill earmarked the new funds for “INDOPACOM missile tracking demonstration expansion.”
The new satellites will be integrated into SDA’s first operationally capable set of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, called “Tranche 1,” the SDA spokesperson explained.
Tranche 1 will include both missile warning/tracking birds for the Tracking Layer and data relay satellites for the Transport Layer of the agency’s planned (and newly named) Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture.
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