It is true that the Pentagon wants to develop another satellite to compete (or augment) the Space Based Infrared System; it has a name—the Alternative Infrared Satellite System (AIRSS), according to the Space and Missile Systems Center. SMC officials also confirm that DOD acquisition boss Ken Krieg wants work to begin this year on technology risk reduction, system definition, and alternative sensor architectures. AIRSS is slated to sub for the SBIRS GEO 3 satellite. Officials also note that the alternative program would have the benefit of technology advancements, offering the “potential to maintain schedule and reduce costs.” New Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne has said that SBIRS suffered from technical immaturity, among other issues.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.