skip to main content

Pentagon budget 2022: MDA requests USD292.8 million for better awareness in space

The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022) requested USD292.8 million to integrate its Space-based Kill Assessment (SKA) system, meant to report on the success or failure of individual interceptor missions, and to develop a Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS).

MDA’s director for operations Michelle Atkinson told reporters on 28 May this included “roughly 260 million” for HBTSS and about USD32 million for SKA.

MDA director Vice Admiral Jon Hill has said the SKA systems were deployed throughout 2018. The network of “fast-rate infrared sensors” is designed to detect explosions in space and then provide a kill assessment capability, so the overall US missile defence system would know if its combat intercepts were successful or not.

The project was also meant as a pathfinder for the MDA, exploring the use of commercial satellites to host its military payloads. The agency said, “SKA proved that commercial hosting can deploy assets on orbit quickly – around half the time of the average traditional space programme, and at a significant cost savings.”

SKA has not yet been integrated with the US missile defence system but has been operating for MDA’s missile defence tests, including a March 2019 salvo intercept test (known as FTG-11) of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) homeland missile defence system.

MDA said it plans in FY 2022 to “complete development of the operational hit assessment software code, continue developing kill assessment algorithms and threat models, and finalize integration of the SKA operational interface in order to add the SKA capability to the operational all-domain [missile defence system]”.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...