Air Force Acquisition Test: Missile Warning Sats In 5 Years to Orbit?! « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

SPACE SYMPOSIUM: The Air Force, eager to get inside the decision cycle of China and Russia, is pressing ahead hard and fast to substantially speed space acquisition. In what is something of a test case for the service, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson last night committed to building the next generation of missile warning satellites, OPIR, in five years. The existing SBIRS satellites, after years and years of delays and cost overruns,  still take nine years to get into orbit. To get the birds into space more quickly, Wilson told reporters before an after-dinner speech that they will use “known sensors” and a commercial satellite bus. On top of those capabilities, Wilson said they “may have” defensive capabilities, carry more fuel and and more maneuverable so they can fight (defensively) in space if the need arises. This is clearly a new standard for American military satellites: build them so they can defend themselves. Why? As Wilson put it in her speech here: “We built exquisite glass houses in a world without stones.” Today, the Russians and Chinese are building stones and appear ready to use them. Another key to achieving this will be substantial change to how Space and Missi

Source: Air Force Acquisition Test: Missile Warning Sats In 5 Years to Orbit?! « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

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