WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to build one satellite per week at the cost of around $10 million each in a bid to enhance its military’s to detect and whack threats such as surface-to-air missile launchers and hypersonic missiles.
The goal is full coverage by 2026, Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency, told Pentagon reporters on Tuesday.
The Pentagon is to begin seeking bids s for the first of the new satellites this spring and award contracts in the summer, Tournear said. They will have an array of tactical payers to provide “advance space situational awareness,” he said.
“We are talking technology that is available to fly within 18 to 24 months,” he said. Each satellite would have a projected lifespan of five years, shorter than the current military satellites that are designed to last at least 20 years.
The Space Development Agency has seven announced metrics for its work. It is focused on reliable communications between U.S. forces around the world; battle management to provide command and control; tracking to find and track enemy missiles; custody to monitor adversary ground launchers and other mobile targets; navigation to augment or replace GPS; deterrence to thwart hostile action in the space between Each orbit and the moon, and support, to connect ground-based satellite systems, including launchers.
The Space Development Agency is part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense but is to fold into the new U.S. Space Force by 2023.