Tri-agency office coordinate on U.S. missile-defense space programs

Three agencies: the Space Systems Command, known as SSC, the Space Development Agency, known as SDA, and the Missile Defense Agency, known as MDA, recently started coordinating working on U.S. missile-defense space programs.

Missile-defense satellites in geostationary, highly elliptical, medium, and low Earth orbits are now developed and procured by different Space Force, SDA, and MDA offices. It is easy to expect conflict between departments while they have so many projects interacting with each other. Therefore, solving the conflict between them had become the priority other than anything else.

The cause of the conflict started with the Missile Defense Review gave MDA the leading role in developing defenses against hypersonic weapons. The agency started a low Earth orbit satellite system called Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS). The fragmented responsibilities for missile defense had forced congress to criticize the DoD’s effort for lack of coordination and cooperation. The Government Accountability Office said MDA “has not adequately coordinated the HBTSS effort with DoD’s Space Development Agency and Space Force.” in a June 2022 report.

The cooperation of three agencies may bind their responsibility together and reduce frequent power transfer or conflict between departments.