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Missile-Tracking Sensor Under Development in $29M Space Contract

The contract with L3Harris is part of a project to establish a satellite constellation to track and monitor missile attacks

Scarlett Evans

June 9, 2023

1 Min Read
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Space Systems Command (SSC has awarded a $29 million contract to L3Harris Technologies to design a sensor system for monitoring and tracking missiles. SSC is the U.S. Space Force Field Command responsible for “acquiring and delivering resilient war fighting capabilities to protect our nation’s strategic advantage in and from space.”

Once completed, the system will join SSC’s satellite constellation, Epoch 1, as part of its Missile Track Custody (MTC) program. 

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SSC has already entered agreements with Boeing subsidiary Millennium Space Systems and Raytheon Technologies to develop sensor prototypes for the satellites. The constellation will be launched to the “medium Earth orbit” — between 1,200 miles and 22,000 miles above the planet. 

According to the SSC, choosing L3Harris to add a third sensor to the constellation will help to reduce risk and broaden options for the project.

“Adding a third vendor reduces risk and non-recurring engineering not only for Epoch 1 but for future Epochs as well,” said Colonel Heather Bogstie. “Having another payload option opens the trade space and allows us to take advantage of all industry has to offer as we deliver high-quality capability to the warfighter.”

The first delivery in the constellation is anticipated for 2026 and 2027, with upgrades to the satellites planned for every three years.

The MTC program was established in response to ongoing geopolitical tensions and potential missile threats, with the decision to launch satellites to medium Earth orbit opening up surveillance capabilities.

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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