US to Launch New Network of Spy Satellites ‘For Timely Threat Detection’

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silent barker, new constellation of spy satellites, silentbarker, us space force, indications and warnings of threats, high-value us systems, capabilities to search, detect, track objects from space, timely threat detection, us air force space command, national reconnaissance office, nro,

silent barker, new constellation of spy satellites, silentbarker, us space force, indications and warnings of threats, high-value us systems, capabilities to search, detect, track objects from space, timely threat detection, us air force space command, national reconnaissance office, nro,

“Space is a war-fighting domain just like the air, land, cyberspace and maritime domains,” Gen. John W. Raymond, who then headed the US Air Force Space Command, stated in a testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces subcommittee in 2017, adding that ‘Silent Barker’ was tasked with improving space situational awareness.

A new constellation of spy satellites is to be launched by the US Space Force this summer, according to a media report.

The classified “space situational awareness” program, “Silent Barker,” sometimes also written as “Silentbarker”, is described as a collaboration between the Air Force Space Command and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The network of satellites specially conceived to complement both, low-earth orbit satellites, and ground-based sensors, will be placed in geosynchronous orbit approximately 35,400 kilometers (22,000 miles) above Earth.

This capability enables indications and warnings of threats” targeting high-value US systems and will “provide capabilities to search, detect, and track objects from space for timely threat detection,” the US Space Force was cited as saying in a statement.

The satellite constellation is to be launched on board an Atlas V booster sometime after July, with the exact date to be announced 30 days in advance on social media, added the NRO. The expendable launch system Atlas V, originally designed by Lockheed Martin, is currently operated by United Launch Alliance, which is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

In this handout image released by the US Navy, a hypersonic missile launches from Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, on March 19, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.12.2021

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The constellation “will dramatically increase Space Force’s ability to track on-orbit, adversary satellites that could be maneuvering around or in proximity to our satellites,” Sarah Mineiro, ex- lead staffer of the House Armed Services Committee strategic subcommittee overseeing space programs told the report.

The new network of satellites is to be launched as the Pentagon has been increasingly designating space as a “war-fighting domain.” As far back as in 2017, Gen. John W. Raymond, at the time head of Air Force Space Command, said in written testimony that Silent Barker was a “collaborative acquisition program” between the National Reconnaissance Office and the Air Force that would help boost satellite threat intelligence and space situational awareness. Raymond, testifying before the US House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces subcommittee, had underscored:

“In the not too distant future, near-peer competitors will have the ability to hold every US space asset in every orbital regime at risk… We need to embrace the fact that space is a war-fighting domain just like the air, land, cyberspace and maritime domains.”

In 2017 the Air Force had scheduled the launch of “Silent Barker” for fiscal year 2022.

This comes as top American generals have repeatedly voiced concerns regarding the speed of development of the latest generation of military technologies in the main rival countries, such as China and Russia. In 2021, General David Thompson, Vice Chief of Space Operations for the US Space Force, warned that China’s space program was surpassing the US by a factor of two, posing an “incredible threat.” He had added that China might become the dominant superpower in space by the end of the decade unless the US changed its strategy.

This year, in its annual threat assessment, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence claimed that China’s People’s Liberation Army posesses weapons that could target US and allied satellites, and “counterspace operations will be integral to potential PLA military campaigns.

Earth, Sun - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.04.2023

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