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February 26, 2024 | International, Land

Navy introduces new robotics warfare rating

The pool of sailors initially tapped for the Navy's new robotics rating will be "small and selective," according to the sea service.

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  • L3Harris to build prototype satellite capable of tracking hypersonic weapons

    January 18, 2021 | International, Aerospace

    L3Harris to build prototype satellite capable of tracking hypersonic weapons

    Nathan Strout WASHINGTON — The Missile Defense Agency awarded L3Harris Technologies a $121 million contract to build a prototype satellite capable of tracking hypersonic weapons, the agency announced Jan. 14. Under the contract, L3Harris is tasked with building an on-orbit prototype demonstration for the agency's Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor, a proliferated constellation in low Earth orbit that is capable of detecting and tracking hypersonic weapons. The constellation is designed to fill the gap in the country's missile defense architecture created by hypersonic weapons, which are dimmer than traditional ballistic missiles, making them harder to see with the nation's infrared sensors based in geosynchronous orbit. In addition, they are able to maneuver around terrestrial sensors. With China and Russia developing these weapons, the Department of Defense is eager to develop a new constellation that can detect and track the threats anywhere in the world. And so is Congress — in December lawmakers set aside $130 million to fund the project. The HBTSS design solves the hypersonic weapon problem by placing the sensor much closer to the Earth's surface in the lower orbit, making it easier to see the threat. But because the sensors are closer to the Earth, they have a far more limited field of view than the sensors in geosynchronous orbit. In order to achieve global coverage, the Missile Defense Agency wants a proliferated constellation made up of dozens of satellites on orbit. L3Harris was one of four companies awarded $20 million contracts in 2019 to develop a prototype payload design and risk reduction demonstration for HBTSS, along with Northrop Grumman, Leidos and Raytheon Technologies. According to the initial contract announcements, work on those designs was due Oct. 31, 2020. With this most recent award, L3Harris has won the subsequent competition between the four companies to build the actual prototype. The company has also been selected to build satellites for the Space Development Agency that will track hypersonic threats and feed data to HBTSS. In October, L3Harris won a $193 million contract to build four of the agency's eight wide field of view (WFOV) satellites, with SpaceX building four more. According to Space Development Agency leaders, their satellites will work in conjunction with HBTSS satellites to track hypersonic threats. The WFOV satellites will provide initial detection and tracing of the weapons, passing custody from satellite to satellite as the threats traverse the globe. Then, the WFOV satellites will pass custody to the medium field of view HBTSS satellites, which can provide targeting solutions with their more accurate sensors. The WFOV satellites are scheduled for launch as early as September 2022. Work on the HBTSS prototype contract will be complete in July 2023.

  • Germany to develop short-range air defence system to replace retired Gepard tanks

    January 18, 2024 | International, Land

    Germany to develop short-range air defence system to replace retired Gepard tanks

    Germany will order the development of a short-range air defence system for some 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion) to plug a gap in its defences that became apparent after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and...

  • The future of NORAD and continental defence

    April 20, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    The future of NORAD and continental defence

    April 17, 2020 On today's Defence Deconstructed Podcast, we are rebroadcasting a recording of the “The future of NORAD and continental defence” panel with moderator Sarah Goldfeder and featuring Michael Dawson, Richard Heitkamp, and Stephen Fuhr from our 29 Jan. 2020 Modernizing North American Defence conference. Defence Deconstructed is part of the CGAI Podcast Network and today's episode is brought to you by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI). This conference was made possible by the MINDS program from the Department of National Defence. Participant Biographies: Dave Perry (host): Senior Analyst and Vice President with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Sarah Goldfeder: CGAI Fellow, Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group. Michael Dawson: Former Political Advisor to the Commander of NORAD and NORTHCOM. Richard Heitkamp: Deputy Director, Politico-Military Affairs (Western Hemisphere), U.S. Army JS J5. Stephen Fuhr: former Chair, House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence.

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