With zero fanfare, the Air Force recently revised its fact sheet on the Space Radar, which became defunct in 2008, at least to the public eye. The revised fact sheet states that the program is envisioned as a constellation of nine satellites “providing worldwide coverage” and yielding five kinds of surveillance products: synthetic aperture radar imagery; surface moving target indication—both ground and ocean target movement detection and identification; open-ocean surveillance to detect ships; high-resolution terrain information, yielding 3-D topographic maps; and “advanced products” in the realm of geospatial intelligence. The Space Radar will “profoundly change the nature of global persistent ISR” and provide enhanced global deterrence “through the mere threat of observation,” states the document, posted in late February.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.