Space Fence Fielding Slips to 2017

The Air Force has modified the fielding schedule for the Space Fence space-surveillance system, slipping the projected date for initial operations by two years to 2017, according to a draft statement of work issued last week. The Space Fence’s full operational capability milestone also has changed from 2020 to a to-be-determined date, states the document, released by the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass. Air Force officials envision the Space Fence as a dual-site radar system operating in the S-band frequency range to detect orbiting space objects. It will offer significantly improved performance over the 1960s-era Air Force Space Surveillance System VHF Fence that it will replace. Current plans call for two Space Fence sites: Australia and Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon currently are under contract to mature their respective fence concepts. (Draft SOW full document.)