The Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) satellites built by Northrop Grumman for the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have far surpassed their four-year on-orbit design life, with the recent completion of a 10th year of space operations.
Still in operation today, the STSS satellites continue to provide critical support for missile and national defence.
Two STSS satellites were launched into low-Earth orbit in 2009 and proved the operational value of space-based precision mid-course ballistic missile tracking.
STSS has tracked ballistic missiles through all phases of flight and in 2013 demonstrated the 'launch on remote' capability, which significantly expands the defended area of a US Navy Aegis cruiser.
Bob Mehltretter, vice president, military and civil space, Northrop Grumman, said, "STSS proved that space-based assets could significantly improve our nation’s missile defence capability and paved the way for future systems. Being able to track missiles from low-Earth orbit allows threats to be engaged earlier in the process using existing interceptors.
"Northrop Grumman is leveraging all the experience we gained from our legacy OPIR [overhead persistent infrared] systems – STSS, DSP [Defense Support Program], and SBIRS [Space-Based Infrared System] – to develop our nation’s future OPIR programs."
Northrop Grumman is a global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernisation to customers worldwide.
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