Raytheon space-based missile tracker hits programme milestone
Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s sensor payload for the Missile Track Custody (MTC) programme recently passed the tailored mission payload critical design review (CDR).
The USSF established MTC to accelerate fielding of a resilient, persistent detection and missile tracking capability from medium Earth orbit. Currently, the US carries out missile warning and tracking from elliptical and geostationary orbits and plans to expand coverage to low Earth orbit.
MTC provides another layer to the missile warning, defence and tracking architecture to detect and maintain custody of emerging missile threats, while also providing area coverage with fewer sensors than LEO solutions.
During the critical design review, Raytheon used digital engineering models and demonstrations to show that key elements – including focal plane, electronics, firmware and telescope – are ready for fabrication. This approach reduced technical and schedule risk for follow-on phases of the programme, enabling delivery of a compliant space-qualified product.
The company will now focus on completing design of the remaining space and ground segments. A full-system CDR in 2023 followed by a build, integration, and test campaign aim to deliver in-orbit capability by 2026.
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