Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s sensor payload, for the U.S. Space Force’s Missile Track Custody (MTC) program, recently passed the tailored mission payload critical design review on schedule. The MTC program seeks to deploy initial warfighter capability for missile tracking at medium Earth orbit (MEO). The U.S. Space Force established the MTC program to accelerate the fielding of a resilient persistent detection and missile tracking capability from MEO. Currently, the U.S. conducts missile warning and tracking from highly-elliptical and geostationary orbits and plans to expand the capability to low Earth orbit in the coming years. MTC would provide another layer to the missile warning, missile defense and missile tracking architecture that provides the ability to detect and maintain custody of emerging missile threats, while also providing large area coverage with fewer sensors than LEO solutions.
During the tailored mission payload critical design review, RI&S used digital engineering-based models and demonstrations to show that the designs of key elements – including focal plane, electronics, firmware, and the telescope – are ready for fabrication. This approach reduced technical and schedule risk for follow-on phases of the MTC program, enabling the delivery of a fully-compliant space-qualified product. RI&S will now focus on completing the remaining design of the space and ground segments. The team plans to complete a System CDR in 2023 followed by a build, integration, and test campaign to deliver capability to orbit by 2026. Work on the sensor payload is being conducted at RI&S’ facility in El Segundo, California.
“Our country faces new and diverse missile threats that require a layered approach to detection, tracking and defense,” said Roger Cole, executive director of Strategic Systems programs at RI&S. “Using the latest digital engineering techniques, we’ve successfully completed key design elements of the fully compliant payload design in just under 18 months.”
Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RIS) is one of the four business segments of U.S. defense and aerospace conglomerate Raytheon Technologies. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, RIS has a total employment of 39,000 and 2019 sales of US$15 billion. Roy Azevedo is the segment’s president. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is the result of a merger between two former Raytheon Company businesses: Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) and Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS). The merger was finalized on the day that Raytheon Technologies was formed, on 3 April 2020. Raytheon Technologies completed its acquisition of satellite manufacturer Blue Canyon Technologies of Boulder, Colorado on 22 December 2020. BBN Technologies is a part of RIS. Key RIS capabilities combine key SAS, IIS, and BBN capabilities.