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MDA’s Richard Matlock: US Should Consider Space-Based Missile Defense System

Richard Matlock, program executive for advanced technology at the Missile Defense Agency, has said the U.S. needs to shift from a ground-based missile defense system to a space-based architecture to help address evolving threats, Space News reported Thursday.

Matlock told a Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance-hosted forum that the U.S. should augment the Space-Based Infrared System with in-orbit satellites and systems designed to detect, track and target missiles, according to the report by Phillip Swarts.

“As we examine the impact of the evolving, more maneuverable, more complex threat on this, we begin to see gaps emerging in the future to our system, which is primarily based on our lack of persistent global sensor coverage,” Matlock added.

He noted the U.S. should develop a space-based sensor array that would provide global coverage and include radar and electro-optical sensors to address the gaps, Swarts reported.

The report said MDA also looks to boost its Space Tracking and Surveillance System to extend the range of ground interceptors beyond the sight of radar, according to the report.

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