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Military Satellites are an important tool for gathering important tactical information. Out of more than 4,000 artificial satellites orbiting the earth, more than 40% of them are used for Military applications.
Military satellites are used for various purposes like surveillance, remote sensing, Reconnaissance, weather conditions. They are also used to track weapons development, military deployments, missile launches, and assess damage done by weapons
In recent years, development in camera technology and processor miniaturization have allowed companies to do radar observations using comparatively smaller satellites.
Many nations have been in space for many decades now but no one came close in challenging the dominance of US. But now China and Russia have opened new frontiers in Military space technology to the extent that the US had setup a new division called Space force in 2019
Post-Gulf War in 1990s, military personnel have grown accustomed to satellite communications (SATCOM) applications, from fixed to new mobility applications. As network-centric warfare have gone up bandwidth consumed per 5,000 military members now exceeds more than 350 Mbits/sec in 2020.
War fighters are more than ever reliant on higher data rates for communications on the move where they can stay connected with Audio and video information while navigating the battlefield.
Unmanned Aerial vehicles are also another important application segment where SATCOM usage has been growing. The SATCOM terminal modem and antenna must work together to transmit geographic location, beam quality, satellite handoff, and other important data-sets
US Military is assessing using constellations of LEO satellites for communications, advanced missile defense or an alternative navigation system to GPS. But Military Low Earth Orbit satellite fleets might not be created right away, as one of the military’s future constellation plans still calls for a fleet of geosynchronous-based satellites
Also, the US Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency are looking at creating hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensor that could include a constellation of small LEO satellites probably by 2025.
Feb 2021- BAE Systems received a $247 million contract from the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center to design and manufacture an advanced military GPS receiver and next-generation semiconductor.
Jan 2021- L3 Harris to build prototype satellite to track Hypersonic weapons under a contract by MDA worth $121M.
Jan 2021- Lockheed Martin was today awarded $4.9 billion to build three Next Generation Geosynchronous (NGG) Earth orbiting space vehicles (SV).
August 2020- Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric has won a major contract worth $103.5M for the Horizon 2 Air Surveillance Radar system acquisition project from Phillipines.
June 2020- British MoD shortlists Airbus Defence & Space, Babcock Integrated Technology, BT and Serco for its multibillion-dollar (~$7.6B) Skynet satellite program.
June 2020- GomSpace, manufacturer of nanosatellites signed a $2.06 Million contract to develop and deliver a nanosatellite to the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). The launch is planned for Q3-2021
June 2020– U.S. Space Force Commercial Satellite Communications Office (CSCO) awarded Peraton, a $56 Million contract to provide commercial satellite communications services for the U.S. Central Command
June 2020– Northrop Grumman Corporation won a ~$2.3 Billion contract for Phase 1 of the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) Polar program from the USSF
May 2020– Kratos Defense & Security Solutions won a $4.9 Million contract to modernize the infrastructure and systems that interconnect the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) sites. The contactor will provide the WANIF units to interconnect AFSCN sites.
US remains world`s biggest and leading market in Military Satellite Market.US created a new Space force in Dec 2019 by Trump administration to focus on national security and preserving the satellites and vehicles dedicated to international communications and observation.
The AEHF constellation has been built by Lockheed Martin consisting of six secure military communications satellites is aimed at replacing the aging Milstar constellation. On 26th March 2020, AEHF-6(weighing 13,600 pounds) the final satellite in the AEHF constellation was launched to provide jam-proof communication (also including real-time video) between U.S. top level leadership and deployed military forces.
Among other countries, Iran launched its first ever military satellite (April 2020) in the orbit after multiple failed attempts. Nour, the satellite is currently circling Earth at an altitude of 264 miles (425 kms).
British military’s space campaign picks up steam with ‘Skynet’ upgrade.
Space Development Agency, US plans to launch several demonstration satellites this year, which will be later used to track hypersonic weapons.
International Space Station Tests Boeing’s Anti-COVID Surface Coating
The global Military Satellite Market size is estimated at $XX Billion in 2020, growing at –% CAGR till 2025. In the next 6 years the market for Military satellites could be as big as $27 Billion worldwide with US having more than 45% market share.
With increasing demand in efficacy of technology to provide positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) capabilities and race towards a space force, Global Military Satellite Market is expected to grow in the forecast period.
There are more than 15 players in the Global Military Satellite Market. US based Lockheed Martin and Airbus cumulatively had ~46% market share in 2019 and the remaining 54% was held by numerous other companies.
There are multiple regional leaders in this market owing to secrecy and growing protectionism. For example, France based Airbus is the market leader in Europe whereas Boeing and Lockheed Martin are the leaders in the US market.
U.S. Space Force is still in its early days, but leaders are already considering adding a new mission for Guardians: providing tactical satellite imagery for beyond-line-of-sight targeting.
Viasat is upgrading Skynet satellite communications capabilities to enable the British military to comply with the latest integrated waveform requirement known as IW Phase 2.
L3Harris leaped from tracking weather to tracking missiles, cracking a competitive field.
L3Harris Demos Antenna Technology for U.S. Space Force SatCom.
Thales Alenia Space to Demonstrate In-Orbit Servicing of Satellites by 2026.
Aevum Builds World’s First Autonomous Satellite Launch Vehicle.
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