Northrop Grumman Tracks Missiles Via Satellite First Time

Thursday, 24 Mar 2011 05:30 PM

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Northrop Grumman tracked missiles from launch to landing with satellites for the first time, Popular Science reported on its website Thursday. One company executive called the results the “holy grail for missile defense.”

New test results, which were released Tuesday, showed that two low Earth orbiting satellites launched in 2009 managed to track several missiles on March 16. The satellites had been going through a series of on-orbit maneuvers and calibrations. Since that process ended in November, the company has tracked several missiles through various stages of flight, showing how the satellites can talk to each other.

The ability of the satellites to share information is critical to any future missile defense system. These results also bode well for upcoming tests in which the satellites will share that tracking data with Navy Aegis ships.

Company officials hope to test to see if the satellite data is good enough to launch interceptor missiles from the ships this year.

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