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Brig. Gen. Jason Cothern: Space Force Eyes About $400M in FY23 Funding for MEO Satellite Constellation

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Brig. Gen. Jason Cothern, deputy commander of Space Systems Command, said the $1 billion in new funding for hypersonic missile tracking in the U.S. Space Force’s budget request for fiscal year 2023 will be divided into several efforts, including approximately $400 million for the procurement of a new satellite constellation in medium Earth orbit, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.

Cothern told the publication the MEO satellite network would be used to help track hypersonic missiles. The proposed constellation is undergoing the Missile Track Custody Prototype program, which seeks to develop a digital design for future satellites to help accelerate procurement activities.

The service will use the rest of the new funding to pursue the development of the Space Development Agency’s Tracking Layer and a ground systems architecture to support that layer of satellites in low Earth orbit and the MEO constellation.

Cothern said the Department of Defense is forming a “combined program office” to coordinate the integration of the two constellations into the “hybrid” architecture for missile warning and tracking efforts and oversee the implementation of that architecture.

The proposed office would involve SDA, SSC and the Missile Defense Agency, according to Cothern.

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