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Derek Tournear: SDA Working With Air Force to Establish Space Defense Layer

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Derek Tournear
Jeff Brody
Derek Tournear

Derek Tournear, acting director of the Space Development Agency, unveiled the agency’s plans to establish seven “layers” of space defense during an Air Force Association event in Maryland, National Defense Magazine reported Thursday.

Tournear told reporters that the layers will include up to 400 small spacecraft and that each layer will encompass command-and-control, communications, sensing, battle management and navigation functionalities. The Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office's systems will handle other missions involving technologies such as remote sensing, global communications and GPS.

“We are orchestrating the fielding and development of the next-generation national defense space architecture,” said Tournear. “So we're working with a lot of other folks, especially the Air Force to make sure that all of those components necessary for the architecture get built out.”

SDA plans to launch demonstration satellites in fiscal 2021 and achieve an initial operating capability for its fleet of small spacecraft by 2024.