Northrop Grumman’s Space Tracking and Surveillance System Satellites Complete Mission

Demonstration satellites retire with stellar record of performance and pave the way for future early-warning missile systems

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., March 15, 2022 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) in support of the Missile Defense Agency, two demonstration Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) satellites successfully completed their missions and have been retired. Their achievements pave the way for future operational missile warning and tracking systems that will defend the nation.


Northrop Grumman Completes Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor Critical Design Review

Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor satellites will provide continuous tracking and handoff to enable targeting of enemy missiles launched from land, sea or air. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Satellite to play critical role in tracking and targeting enemy missiles

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., November 10, 2021 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) recently completed the critical design review of the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) prototype for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The review establishes the company’s technical approach for precise, timely sensor coverage to defeat ballistic and hypersonic missiles.


Northrop Grumman Wins $2.37 Billion Contract for Missile Warning Satellites

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.

An Overview of Japan’s Counterspace Strategy

Global Counterspace Capabilities:
An Open Source Assessment

Secure World Foundation
April 2020

Full Report

The following excerpts from the report summarize Japan’s counterspace capabilities.

Country Summary

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.


Trump Expected to Boost Missile Defense, Space Weapons

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)
Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

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.”

Read the full story.


Military Space Officials Slam Space Contractors’ Quality Control

A Titan rocket explodes just after liftoff. (Credit: USAF)

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 Buzz reports:

The makers of America’s rockets and satellites “are still stumbling on fundamentals too often,” said Gary Payton, former astronaut and the top Air Force man on space acquisition. Payton’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.


Boeing Moves Missile Defense HQ to Huntsville


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.


Where is the U.S. Space Program Going — and Why?

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.


North Korea Threatens Full-Scale War If Missile Shot Down

It looks like matters are getting increasingly tense on the Korean peninsula. The story thus far:

  • North Korea is preparing for a missile launch which it says is designed to put a satellite into orbit;
  • Foreign intelligence sources say the launch would be a test of a long-range Taepodong-2 missile capable of hitting the United States;
  • American and Japanese military forces have threatened to shoot the rocket down;
  • North Korea has threatened to launch a full-scale war against the United States, Japan and South Korea in retaliation.


Russian Foreign Minister Wants to Prevent Space Arms Race

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.