The Space and Missile Systems Center reports that Defense Support Program Flight 14, better known as DSP-14, has been conducting missile warning operations for more than 20 years. That means it has exceeded its on-orbit design goal by 15 years. Col. Scott Larrimore, commander of the SBIRS Space Group at SMC, called the feat “a testament to the teamwork and quality of workmanship exhibited by the Northrop Grumman Aerospace & Electronics Systems teams and their Air Force counterparts.” SBIRS, for Space Based Infrared System, is the follow-on to DSP and already has two of its spacecraft on orbit, with more to come before the constellation is complete. Lt. Col. Robert Bongiovi, SBIRS Sensors Squadron commander, said the ability of the DSP sats “to last well beyond their design life ensure a smooth transition to our next generation missile warning system.”
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.