Hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensor completes reviewNews
November 11, 2021
FALLS CHURCH, Va. Northrop Grumman Corporation completed the critical design review of the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) prototype for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The review establishes the company’s technical approach for sensor coverage to defeat ballistic and hypersonic missiles.
According to the company, HBTSS satellites will be designed to provide continuous tracking and handoff to enable targeting of enemy missiles launched from land, sea, or air. They are a critical part of the Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) multi-layered constellation of satellites, which can sense heat signatures to detect and track missiles from launch through interception.
HBTSS satellites are also designed to track threats with near global reach when prompted by other OPIR systems. Northrop Grumman received a $153 million contract from the MDA earlier this year for the Phase IIB portion of the HBTSS program and is on schedule to deliver the HBTSS prototype in 2023.
After the HBTSS prototype is delivered, the company claims it will conduct an on-orbit test to demonstrate its ability to track and process its observations of hypersonic threats, as well as its ability to hand off the information so the missile is intercepted.