New report raises questions on DoD’s multi-orbit plan for space sensors

The U.S. Space Force in its 2023 budget adds billions of dollars for new constellations of missile-warning and missile-tracking satellites. But there is yet no consensus around a plan for how the Pentagon will transition from current legacy satellites to a much more distributed architecture of satellites in multiple orbits, argues a new report by the Aerospace Corp.

The report, “Fiscal Year 2023 U.S. Space Force Budget Request: Missile Warning & Tracking Looms Large,” was released Sept. 20 by the Aerospace Center for Space Policy and Strategy. 

About $4.7 billion of the Space Force’s $24.7 billion budget request for 2023 is for new missile-defense satellites that the Pentagon argues is needed to detect and track advanced hypersonic missile and glide vehicles developed by Russia and China.  

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