Upgrades to missile detection radar earns civilian recognition

December 7, 2017

Air Force:

America’s nuclear deterrent relies in part on 25,000 40-year-old solid state modules, divided between five massive Northern Hemisphere radar sites, which amplify the radiation needed to detect incoming ballistic missiles.

Dr. Donald Hoying, the radar’s program manager at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, leads a team of 50 military and government civilians and contractors, who are working to upgrade these SSMs while improving the radar’s satellite, space-borne object and missile detection capabilities. In November, Hoying won the 2017 AFLCMC Outstanding Civilian Acquisition Program Manager Award for his efforts.

At a recent event, Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, addressed the importance of sensors to deterring nuclear attack. “When I was asked in front of Congress, can we improve the missile defense capability, I said we can,” said Hyten. “We can do it by improving our sensor capabilities first.”

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International Cooperation