The US missile defense chief has announced that two prototypes of spacecraft will be launched into orbit in 2023.
US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), is planning to launch prototype satellites that will track and monitor spacecraft, as well as issue warnings early. According to Vice Admiral Jon A. Hill, MDA director, the satellites would be used for tracking hypersonic and cruise missiles.
This agency is developing the Hypersonic Tracking Space Sensor program (HBTSS). Two prototype satellites are expected to launch in 2023. HBTSS satellites will be used for their functions. “two major roles”Hill explained to the panel that the tracking system would be available in the near future.
“The first is to pick up the dim targets that cannot be seen by the current architecture today. So, from a ballistic perspective, we’re seeing changes there that make that fight much more challenging,” Hill explained.
But when you get to the advanced hypersonic threat, which has a global maneuver capability, we need the ability to see it from space – so global coverage and that very close proximity from space to track those sensors.
The US Space Command is cooperating closely with the agency, Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant General John E. Shaw stating to the panel that it was. “interested in any capabilities that are going to help us with any of these threats.”
“As MDA has pursued this particular program, HBTSS, the advantage of this is that we have a perspective from space that is invaluable and will allow us to get after a lot of these threats,”He said.
The two satellites can be placed in orbit. “monitor tests”Hill stated that the Indo-Pacific region was his. “We’ll collect that data as a way to proof out that concept. To prove that it is possible to extract hot targets from a warmer Earth, we did extensive groundwork. Now it’s about getting it into space and pulling that data down,”The official addition.
The official didn’t elaborate further on who or what it was. “tests” exactly the spacecraft would be watching, deploying them to monitor the Indo-Pacific region could potentially mean they would be used to monitor China’s activities. China is a key player in hypersonic missiles testing, and has been able to successfully test the latest technology.
Russia is another country that has been actively developing hypersonic missiles and glider vehicles, with some of them, namely the air-launched Kinzhal missiles, already adopted by the country’s military.
The US has faced a number of difficulties in its development of hypersonic weapons, but it has conducted several successful test. According to US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, (DARPA), the latest test of one the prototypes, Lockheed Martin’s Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), was conducted last week.
“We are still analyzing flight test data, but are confident that we will provide the US Air Force and Navy with excellent options to diversify the technology available for their future missions,” Andrew Knoedler, DARPA’s HAWC program manager for the tactical technology office, said.