General John Hyten—Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command—oversees operations engaging some of the military’s mainly sensitive satellites that recognize and follow enemy missiles. Hyten has been adamant that the U.S. DoD (Department of Defense) requires a layer of satellites in the lower orbits to follow targets much nearer to Earth than the existing missile caution constellation that functions from geostationary orbit. At the 35th Space Symposium, Hyten told SpaceNews, “That has to be a bit of the architecture.”
He further added, “You cannot defend alongside something that you cannot observe. The DoD requires establishing stronger defenses against promising hypersonic missiles that are lifted into space but then move smoothly into the atmosphere and contrive in unpredictable trajectories.” That needs global coverage and the most proficient way to get that is from a huge constellation of satellites in the lower Earth orbit. “You have to be quite proliferated to have international coverage,” he reported. The MDA (Missile Defense Agency) has been studying alternatives to organize a sensor layer in space but there is no formal DoD obligation to build or develop one. “No one is really seeing at hypersonic sensing. It is been discussed, but “nobody is looking at how do we do this.” The task of constructing a space sensor coating for hypersonic defense would be assigned to the newly formed SDA (Space Development Agency).
Recently, the DoD was in news as the federal agency found no conflicts of interest in JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) cloud attainment. The investigation by DoD discovered that no conflicts of concern in the progress of the acquisition plan for its $10 Billion JEDI cloud contract. And now the Pentagon is going ahead with just two service providers in the running for the single award.