The U.S. Space Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a $2.375 million contract to develop two Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) missile warning satellites.
The award is a modification to a $47 million contract to analyze system and payload requirements for the two polar orbiting satellites.
“This modification adds Phase One for design/development, critical path flight hardware procurement, and risk reduction efforts leading to a critical design review to the basic contract,” the Defense Department said in a statement.
“Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $70,500,000 are being obligated at the time of award,” Total cumulative face value of the contract is $2,419,295,532,” the statement added.
Northrop Grumman will perform the work in Redondo Beach, Calif. Work is expected to be completed by December 2025.
The following excerpts from the report summarize Japan’s counterspace capabilities.
Japan has long been a well-established space actor and its space activities have historically been entirely non-military in nature. In 2008, Japan made a change to its constitution to enable national security-related activities in space and more recently, government officials have begun to publicly speak about developing various counterspace capabilities or developing military SSA capacity.
Roll Call reports on an expected boost in missile defense and military space programs under President Donald Trump.
Coming soon are a greater number of more capable anti-missile interceptors and radars deployed around the globe — on land, at sea and possibly in space, say these legislators and experts, several of whom have consulted with President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers. More government money will be directed at protecting U.S. satellites from attack — potentially including systems that can ram into or otherwise disable another country’s satellites. And senior Republicans who oversee Pentagon spending said in interviews this week that they support considering all such systems.
“I believe we need lots of platforms for every eventuality, including those,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, the New Jersey Republican who is expected to chair the House Appropriations Committee in the next Congress….
Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican on House Armed Services, said the GOP’s newly strengthened hand in Washington means a big payday is coming for programs aimed at developing weapons that can be deployed in space.
“It was a Democrat mindset that caused us to step back from space-based defense assets to ostensibly not ‘weaponize space,’ while our enemies proceeded to do just that, and now, we find ourselves in a grave deficit,” Franks said. “In every area of warfare, within the Geneva Conventions, America should be second to none. That includes satellite warfare, if it’s necessary. We cannot be victims of our own decency here.”
While a debate rages this week over whether NASA can make human spaceflight faster, cheaper and at least as safe through privatization, a pair of top military officials were publicly criticizing America’s private aerospace contractors for the poor quality of their work. DOD Buzzreports:
The makers of Americaâ€™s rockets and satellites â€œare still stumbling on fundamentals too often,â€ said Gary Payton, former astronaut and the top Air Force man on space acquisition. Paytonâ€™s comments seem to indicate a continuing trend of shoddy quality control among those whose toughest job is turning out top quality parts and software and making sure they work and fit well.
The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] will relocate the headquarters for its Missile Defense Systems (MDS) division from Arlington, Va., to the company’s facilities in Huntsville, starting immediately. The move will ensure MDS remains aligned with its government customers, while adding to Boeing’s presence in the Huntsville community.
The stakes are getting higher as North Korea proceeds with its plan to launch a rocket during April 4-8. South Korea and its allies say this is a test of a long-range missile; North Korea claims it is a satellite launch.
A pair of editorials in Florida newspapers have raised concerns about what editors view as a dangerous drift in space policy at both the state and national levels.
The St. Petersburg Times notes that although the Obama Administration has provided NASA with billions of additional funding and reaffirmed his predecessor’s plans to return to the moon, it has not provided a clear reason why:
But the Obama administration has come no closer to explaining a rationale for the moon mission than the Bush administration did. It also has not laid out how the United States would keep the manned space program alive in the five years between when it retires the space shuttle in 2010 and starts flying the next-generation Constellation craft in 2015.
Russian FM Lavrov Against Arms Race in Space, Wants Efforts United RIA Novosti
Russia’s foreign minister said Saturday that an arms race in outer space is inadmissible and called on other world powers to unite efforts in countering missile threats.
“Prevention of an arms race in space will contribute to ensuring the predictability of the strategic situation and preserving the orbital property,” Sergei Lavrov told a disarmament conference in Geneva, adding that all states using space objects for civilian purposes should be interested in it.