U.S. DoD Launches 5 L3Harris-Built Hypersonic Missile Tracking Satellites

HBTSS satellite is equipped to track maneuvering hypersonic missiles such as the Russian Kinzhal and Zirkon that operate beyond the range of existing ballistic missile detection systems
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 09:06 AM, February 15, 2024
  • 1841
U.S. DoD Launches 5 L3Harris-Built Hypersonic Missile Tracking Satellites
U.S. DoD launches HBTSS satellite @L3 Harris

L3Harris Technologies has lauched five missile tracking satellites from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida that can track maneuvering hypersonic missiles such as the Russian Kinzhal and Zirkon.

This launch is part of the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) program and the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 0 (T0) Tracking Layer program.

The HBTSS satellite, designed as an on-orbit prototype demonstration, is equipped to track maneuvering hypersonic missiles operating beyond the range of existing ballistic missile detection systems. The four additional infrared satellites are intended to support SDA's Tracking Layer, focusing on global indications, warning, tracking, and targeting of advanced threats, including hypersonic missiles.

This launch also aligns with SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, integrating missile tracking and missile defense sensors. The Department of Defense aims to utilize a common set of data for adjustments and modifications to the capabilities of the SDA’s Tranche 1 and 2 Tracking Layer constellation. L3Harris previously secured a $919 million contract to develop an 18-vehicle constellation for the SDA’s Tranche 2 Tracking Layer satellite program.

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