The Emerging Threat
As global threats increase, so have our adversaries’ missile capabilities. A new generation of missiles has taken center stage: hypersonic glide vehicles. These weapons are not only faster and more maneuverable than traditional ballistic missiles but are incredibly difficult to track. Because of the faint heat signature and unpredictable flight trajectory of hypersonic missiles, the only way to identify and track them is with advanced satellite technology.
To stay ahead of this emerging threat, the U.S. military is building a robust constellation of missile warning and defense satellites in both geosynchronous orbit (GEO), highly elliptical orbit (HEO), medium-Earth orbit (MEO), and low-Earth orbit (LEO). Together, this multilayer architecture can quickly detect, accurately track and precisely target threats — most notably hypersonic vehicles that elude other capabilities.
L3Harris has an extensive 60-year history designing, building and testing infrared instruments in both GEO and LEO. With this expertise, L3Harris is adding vital tools to the U.S. military’s multilayered approach to eliminate danger wherever it appears.
To advance missile warning and defense, L3Harris’ solutions provide immediate and continuous global coverage of threats with highly sensitive instruments to find both dim and bright targets. Equipped with real-time onboard processing, our technology can follow hypersonics at different geometries and atmospheric conditions.
L3Harris’ mission-defining technology is playing a critical role on several missile warning and defense satellite programs, including
- Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
- Tracking Layer for the Space Development Agency (SDA) missile-tracking program
- Wide Field of View (WFOV) for the U.S. Space Force’s missile warning satellite
By leveraging proven capabilities like infrared imaging, real-time detection algorithms and common interfaces and payloads, L3Harris is rapidly addressing their mission partners’ most critical challenges, quickly and affordably.