Against the backdrop of rising ‘peer’ and regional state rivals, the role of space-based assets for effective missile defence will be critical.
DARPA eyes nuclear power for spacecraft
A new DARPA programme focused on nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP)-powered spacecraft has significant implications for the domain, helping support the development of platforms with far greater agility and manoeuvrability in cislunar space between the Earth and the Moon.
DARPA awarded several contracts for the first phase of its Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) programme in mid-April 2021. The aim is to demonstrate an NTP system above low Earth orbit in 2025.
USAF Maj Nathan Greiner, programme manager for DRACO, said that NTP systems offer a combination of high thrust-to-weight, leading to better acceleration and high specific impulse (known …
More from Defence Notes
Adding a space layer to missile defence is not an optional extra – it is crucial.
Add-on kit turns UHF/VHF radio into a BLoS solution to support voice and data communications.
Digital engineering is transforming the defence industry, from design to manufacturing.
The digital engineering concept creates an environment where a single, digital source of truth empowers defence manufacturing.
The MOESS programme intends to deploy a sovereign Australian tactical electromagnetic sensor capability, installed on a constellation of CubeSats. DEWC is developing a sensor that can conduct radar electronic support in defence-relevant radio frequency bands used by assets such as ships and aircraft.