Air, Space Force Leaders Near Missile Warning Plan – Breaking Defense
WASHINGTON: Senior Air Force and Space Force officials will meet Thursday to hash out an overarching architecture for missile warning satellites, part of a larger effort to figure out both what space systems the US needs for today and tomorrow, and which agencies are responsible for acquiring them.
Thursday’s meeting is a follow-on to the so-called Space Enterprise Architect Summit held Feb. 26-28, an Air Force spokesperson said. That first meeting kicked off the overarching effort to ensure that US military satellite programs across the board are integrated into a single, interconnected architecture. This includes figuring out the roles and responsibilities of Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), the Space Development Agency (SDA), the Space Rapid Capabilities Office (SpRCO) and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
The first step is looking at the current and future missile warning satellite architecture. The central early warning satellite constellation in use today is SBIRS, the Space Based Infrared System. When it’s completed in 2022 SBIRS will comprise six satellites in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) and two hosted payloads on classified satellites in polar orbits. The Air Force also continues to operate a small number of older Defense Support Program (DSP) early warning satellites.
And, as Breaking D readers know, the Air Force is speeding work on the SBIRS replacement, the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR). The service’s 2021 budget request includes $2.3