Satellite Systems that Track Hypersonic Missiles being Developed in the United States
The satellites will be in orbit by 2025...
Advanced satellites will be created using $1.3 Billion from the United States funding that will be able to track hypersonic missile threats. Two contracts have currently been implemented aiming to put detection and tracking systems in orbit sometime around 2025. The Director of the Space Development Agency, Derek Tournear, said 28 satellites will be provided.
Fears linger about China and Russia as both countries have been making massive improvements in their hypersonic missile development programs. These missile variations are more difficult to track and shoot down due to the perk of maneuvering in flight. Russia has recently used hypersonic missiles in its attacks against Ukraine and China has recently tested multiple missiles.
“Russia and China have been developing and testing hypersonic glide vehicles — these advanced missiles that are extremely maneuverable. These satellites are specifically designed to go after that next generation version of threats out there so that we can detect and track these hypersonic maneuvering vehicles and predict their impact point.”
Derek Tournear said.
Congress specifically gave urgent funding to the program due to the rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific region as China continues a progressive military development.
In a historical context, the United States has never flown satellites that were designed to detect hypersonic weapons. He said, “we have limited capability to do that tracking aspect." He added, however, that “clearly we don’t have zero capability to do tracking.” Derek Tournear also added that new satellites will enable the United States to detect from launch and follow the missile as it changes courses. This will allow intelligence to estimate where the missile is headed.