Something new for the sensors of future US early warning satellites

For the past few months, the renewal of American advanced ballistic alert capacities has been the subject of a determined voluntarism. Major program of the new "US Space Force", given the new threats, the "Next-gen Overhead Persistent Infrared" (OPIR) has taken an important step in recent days via the validation of the preliminary design reviews of the infrared payload satellites.

Main effector of the future satellite system in geosynchronous orbit, the design and development of infrared (IR) sensors is the subject of particular care. Competitively designed and developed by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems and Ball Aerospace, they will pass a critical examination by autumn 2021. The selection and integration will fall to the manufacturer of the three satellites concerned: Lockheed Martin. The US Space Force is counting on parallel development to keep its schedule, the launch of the first constellation vector in geosynchronous orbit being planned for 2025.

Satellite systems have been used for ballistic missile alert since the middle of the Cold War. Some countries, like France, however, still do not have these systems, which are essential to the conduct of a credible deterrent.

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