Millennium Space Systems secured a $414M contract on Tuesday to build eight fire control-enabled satellites for the SDA that can detect and track advanced missile systems. 

“The FOO Fighter program will provide an operational demonstration of fire control efforts separate from, but complementary to, our missile warning/missile tracking and missile defense efforts already underway in the tranches,” said SDA director Derek Tournear. 

The Fire-Control On Orbit-Support-To-The-War Fighter (or FOO Fighter) mission is expected to launch in 2027. 

Best of you: Through its Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA), the SDA is deploying a missile defense constellation in LEO. The FOO Fighter demo satellites will help the cause with its fire control satellite sensing capabilities. 

As for specifics on the experimental FOO Fighter constellation and the missile system threats it is designed to track—that’s on a need to know basis. 

“There’s a handful of…threats—that’s where it gets classified—that are not being addressed by those mainline programs,” Tournear said.

What we do know is that advanced electro-optical and infrared sensors for fire control tech will be key to the FOO Fighter satellites. 

Fire control sensing:  Fire control is an advanced missile tracking capability that can keep an eye on threats with the precision and latency necessary to send an interceptor to destroy them. 

“Fire control is going to be an indispensable mission,” Masao Dahlgren, a fellow at the Center of Strategic and International Studies, told Payload. “It will be indispensable for the FOO Fighter constellation and in the tracking layer constellation for tracking hypersonic missiles with enough fidelity to actually intercept them.” 

LEO, GEO, MEO: Millennium previously won MEO and GEO Pentagon contracts to build missile warning and tracking satellites. 

“Our deep knowledge and understanding of this mission enabled us to engineer the right solution at the right cost, taking advantage of our common sensing vehicle and core components,” said Millennium chief Jason Kim.

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