Tag Archives: Missile Defense Agency

SDA Director Derek Tournear: Satellite, Launch Prices Have Dropped

Derek Tournear

Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency (SDA) and 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, said virtually in a Defense One panel that the military's goal to establish a network of low Earth orbit satellites is now more reachable as a result of commercialization. Tournear said launches now cost tens of millions of dollars compared to just a few years ago. 

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Vice Adm. Jon Hill: MDA Pursues Defensive Hypersonic Interceptor Development Effort

Vice Adm. Jon Hill

Vice Adm. Jon Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), said MDA is advancing the development of an interceptor that can defend against hypersonic missile threats. “We’ve got some great feedback coming from industry, it is something that can be done, and we shouldn’t be afraid to go do it ... and so we’re taking that on,” Hill said.

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MDA Director Jon Hill: AI Can Help Military Address Information Gap in Testing

Vice Adm. Jon Hill

Vice Adm. Jon Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), said artificial intelligence can help the military process the large amount of missile testing information that humans cannot handle alone. "You start to see areas where you can improve algorithms and how you do that detect-control-engage sequence," Hill said.

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Gen. John Hyten: DOD Considers Sensors for Missile Threat Detection No. 1 Capability

Gen. John Hyten

Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a two-time Wash100 Award winner, said the Department of Defense (DOD) needs sensors that can detect missile threats worldwide. "I would like to have overhead sensors that see everything, characterize everything that goes on on this planet, from a missile perspective, all the time, everywhere,” said Hyten.

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Space Development Agency to Study Earth’s Infrared for Missile Defense

Space Development Agency

The Space Development Agency (SDA), which is tasked to build a national space architecture, plans to conduct an experiment that studies planet Earth's infrared background. The Northrop Grumman-made Prototype Infrared Payload or PIRPL will gather data the Department of Defense intends to use for future missile-tracking algorithms. Northrop developed PIRPL under a $38 million contract with SDA and MDA.

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Missile Defense Agency Begins Experiment on Small Satellites


Two CubeSat small satellites operated by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) linked with ground stations as part of a communications experiment. MDA said Monday its CubeSat Networked Communications Experiment aims to demonstrate how nanosatellites can establish radio communications in orbit. CNCE is part of MDA's larger Nanosat Testbed Initiative.

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MDA Seeks to Demonstrate Enemy Missile Tracking Capabilities via 2 CubeSats; Walt Chai Quoted

Next Generation

The Missile Defense Agency launched two nanosatellites aboard Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket in late June as part of its CubeSat Networked Communications Experiment Block 1 mission. “The CNCE Block 1 mission will demonstrate the viability of advanced communications technologies using reduced size, weight and power in support of missile defense communications architectures,” said Walt Chai, director for space sensors at MDA.

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DOD Agencies, Space Force Eye Multiorbit Sensor Network for Hypersonic Missile Detection

Multi-Orbit Sensor

The U.S. Space Force, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Department of Defense’s Space Development Agency (SDA) are pursuing the development of a multi-orbit sensor network that can help detect and monitor hypersonic and ballistic missiles. The Space Force is advancing the development of a constellation of Next-Generation Overhead Infrared missile warning satellites through contracts with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.

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Gen. John Raymond Confirms U.S. is Developing Directed-Energy-Systems For Space Defense; Gen. James Dickinson Quoted

Gen. John Raymond

Gen. John Raymond, chief of Space Operations for the U.S. Space Force and 2021 Wash100 Award winner, recently acknowledged that the U.S. is currently developing directed-energy systems to maintain American space superiority. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has researched using space-based lasers to intercept ballistic missiles in the past and some nations have ground-based laser dazzling weapons that blind on-orbit sensors. 

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INDOPACOM, MDA Request Additional Funding For Ballistic Missile Defense Systems; Vice Adm. Jon Hill Quoted

Indo-Pacific Command

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in its customary unfunded requirements list sent to Congress contains $889.94 million worth of projects and programs. INDOPACOM’s chief concern is more funding to develop a ballistic missile defense system for Guam. These lists are sent to Congress every year to help guide lawmakers as they decide what might require additional funding. 

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