Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee has awarded a $26.1 million contract to Alliant Techsystems to develop and manufacture the Space Threat Assessment Testbed System, according to a Dec. 1 company release. AEDC began hunting in 2006 for a contractor to develop a new test capability that will provide a realistic space environment for national security space hardware. “STAT capabilities will provide a new integrated, real-time simulation of complex space environments to enable technology maturation and performance verification necessary to advance technologies without incurring the cost and schedule of a space flight,” said Bill Kasting, VP and GM of ATK’s Integrated Systems. Among capabilities expected of the STAT system is the ability to replicate low Earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit environments and key man-made threats, according to the ATK release.
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.