Military and Government News Vertical Markets

Raytheon secures Missile Track Custody development contract

Raytheon Intelligence & Space has selected a Lockheed Martin bus to build a missile-tracking satellite for the US Space Force.
Photo Credit: Raytheon Intelligence & Space

Raytheon Intelligence & Space has won a contract to develop a prototype Missile Track Custody system – a Medium Earth Orbit missile tracking system –  for the US Space Force.

Under this contract, Raytheon Intelligence & Space will serve as the prime contractor, developing and delivering a space vehicle, hosting a state-of-the-art missile tracking mission payload and ground-based command and control and mission-data processing elements. This system was developed using model-based systems engineering significantly increasing the speed of development, while reducing cost.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space will also deliver the command and control and real-time mission-data processing elements for MTC. The ground system will use the Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution Mission Data Processing Application Framework (FORGE MDPAF). Raytheon’s FORGE MDPAF is a ground system framework that collects and processes data from satellites, including Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) space vehicle data from both Space Force’s Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) constellation and the future Next-Generation OPIR constellation.

Roger Cole, executive director of Strategic Systems programmes, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, said: “This is an advanced solution to counter emerging missile threats facing our country. From its MEO perch, our system will enable Space Force to accurately detect and track adversarial hypersonic weapons with precision accuracy.”

Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s mission payload, which passed critical design review in November 2022, will be integrated onto an LM400 satellite bus. The LM400, part of Lockheed Martin’s modernised family of satellite designs, emphasising commonality, rapid production speed, and reduced costs, includes SmartSat, software-defined satellite capabilities that allow it to adapt to changing mission needs and deploy new capabilities to stay ahead of evolving threats.

Mike Corriea, Vice President of Lockheed Martin’s Overhead Persistent Infrared mission area, added: “Lockheed Martin is excited to provide our mid-sized, rapidly-producible LM400 bus to Raytheon, supporting our customer’s mission to deliver initial warfighting capability with Missile Track Custody Epoch 1. Lockheed Martin will leverage a full suite of digital engineering tools to produce satellites that are dramatically more responsive and flexible, at a fraction of the cost and delivery time for our customers.”

The team plans to complete a system critical design review in 2023, followed by a build, integration, and test campaign to deliver capability to orbit by 2026. Work for this program will be executed in El Segundo, California, and Aurora, Colorado.