The US Air Force (USAF) has selected Raytheon to build FORGE, a new system to collect and fuse data from the military’s space-based missile warning sensors.
The five year contract, worth $197 million, aims to build the Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE) Mission Data Processing Application Framework.
Along with BAE Systems and Booz Allen Hamilton, Raytheon was one of three companies selected through the Space Enterprise Consortium to build FORGE prototypes.
The new system is expected to be able to ingest and fuse data from the Air Force’s main missile warning satellite system, the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) constellation, as well as its eventual replacement, Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR).
Both systems use on-board sensors to detect the heat generated by a missile launch, giving the military a much needed heads up to any missile threat.
“The US has more than 350 satellites in space right now, doing everything from monitoring weather patterns, providing GPS signals, collecting intelligence and relaying communications. That doesn’t even include the hundreds of commercial satellites operated by US companies,” said Ted Glusko, vice president for C2, Space and Intelligence at Raytheon in a Jan. 15 backgrounder. “We need to make sure we’re able to make use of all the information those satellites are collecting.”
The data will be collected and shared not only to and from the military, Casey said: “We are going to unlock data and information at a scale that’s never been seen before. We’re going to make it available for commercial customers, for civil environmental uses, it’s truly somewhat unlimited.”