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Strengthening Space-Based Missile Defense Capabilities Compels Expansion

Imagine an adversary launches a hypersonic missile against a U.S. or allied target. Its faint heat signature coupled with unpredictable flight trajectory make it unusually difficult to track. The precision tracking required is only made possible through advanced satellite technology.

Rising to the Challenge

Threats to space-based missile warning and defense assets seem to grow by the day. In addition to rogue satellites and space debris, directed physical and cyberattacks highlight the emerging risks the U.S. military must be prepared to combat. To address that growing demand, L3Harris has tripled the size of its missile warning satellite programs with the expansion of its Fort Wayne, Indiana facility’s physical footprint and workforce.

Fort Wayne Gets Space

L3Harris’ Fort Wayne facility has an established 55-year legacy of propelling critical satellite programs, specifically for National Oceanographic Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA’s) weather satellites. L3Harris’ expertise in electro-optical and infrared imaging has advanced NOAA’s ability to provide severe weather forecasts and warnings, critical to saving lives and creating a more weather resilient nation. Now, L3Harris is scaling that expertise to bolster future missile warning and defense satellite programs.

To support defense organizations like the Space Development Agency (SDA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Space Force, L3Harris’ 15,000 square-foot classified facility will develop, test, integrate and program manage end-to-end missile defense solutions that are responsive, resilient and affordable.

A Multi-Layered Approach

Faced with advances in adversary missile technology and the threat of combatants in space, the U.S. military is shifting how it develops and deploys satellites with constellations in low-Earth orbit (LEO) as an urgent need. To protect against advanced missiles, such as hypersonic, L3Harris is developing wide-field-of view mission payloads, various space communication and network solutions and inter-satellite optical links on the vehicles for SDA’s tracking layer prototype program. For MDA, L3Harris is developing the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor prototype that will detect and track traditional and emerging missile threats.

The Final Domain

The U.S. Space Force’s recruitment tagline declares “space is hard.” If we falter in the space domain, it ripples throughout all domains – air, land, sea and cyber. That’s why L3Harris is so heavily invested in amplifying our military’s missile warning and defense capabilities with the expansion of our Fort Wayne facility and workforce.