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US spending big on hypersonic-tracking satellites

New two-tier space-based hypersonic missile defense satellite system marks a fundamental shift in US defense architecture

The US has announced plans to spend US$1.3 billion on the development of advanced satellites designed to track hypersonic weapons, a move that underscores Washington’s rising concern about China and Russia’s hypersonic threats.

According to Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency (SDA), the US does not operate satellites designed to monitor hypersonic weapons, stating “we have limited capability to do that tracking aspect,” and “clearly, we don’t have zero capability to do tracking,” as quoted in the South China Morning Post.

However, Tournear mentioned that the US’ new satellites would enable it to detect and track hypersonic missiles, predict where they are headed, and provide data to friendly forces to launch interceptor missiles.

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