Demonstration of new layer of missile-warning satellites planned for 2026

Two satellite designs by Millennium Space Systems and Raytheon Intelligence & Space passed critical reviews. Both companies designed medium Earth orbit (MEO) sensor satellites to detect and track hypersonic missiles, and are on schedule for a 2026 on-orbit demonstration.

MEO satellites would add a new layer to the Pentagon’s missile-defense architecture to improve the detection and tracking of hypersonic missiles. In the demonstration, the payloads in MEO will track missile launches and hypersonic glide vehicles and will work in concert with current Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) constellations operating in geosynchronous Earth and highly elliptical orbits. They will also be connected with the Space Development Agency’s Tracking Layer satellites in low Earth orbit.

This is mainly important as it adds another layer to the missile defence systems to provide better detection of hypersonic missiles.

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