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MDA unlocks key challenge to advanced ballistic missile tracking

18th June 2021 - 16:45 GMT | by Jason Sherman in New York

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Concept design for the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

The US is progressing with its HBTSS project, having overcome an important obstacle.

The US military has cleared an important technological hurdle in its project to develop a next-generation space-based sensor, by advancing plans for a new constellation to track long-range hypersonic and ballistic missiles from launch to impact and provide fire-control quality data to weapons on the ground to counter these threats. 

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) says it has addressed the highest threat risk to its plans for launching a Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) by 2023 — the ability for the IR system to distinguish dim targets from the ambient temperatures of the ground and sea when staring

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