A new orbit for some of the Pentagon’s missile warning satellites

September 19, 2019


The Pentagon’s next generation missile warning system will incorporate satellites in low earth orbit in addition to five satellites already under contract to operate in geosynchronous orbit, leaders from the Air Force’s Space and Missile System Center confirmed Sept. 17.

Next Gen Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites are meant to replace the soon-to-be legacy Space-Based Infrared System and serve as the Air Force’s premier satellite system for detecting and tracking missiles from space. The Air Force has contracted with Lockheed Martin for three satellites to operate in geosynchronous orbit and Northrop Grumman for two additional satellites to cover the polar regions.

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