The National Reconnaissance Office, in partnership with U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space Systems Command, Space Launch Delta 45, and United Launch Alliance, successfully launched the SILENTBARKER/NROL-107 mission from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station today, at 8:47 a.m. EDT.
SILENTBARKER is a joint NRO and USSF Space Domain Awareness (SDA) mission to meet Department of Defense and Intelligence Community space protection needs.
“SILENTBARKER is yet another example of the strong relationship between the NRO and the U.S. Space Force, and the work we are doing together to advance America’s interests in space,” NRO Director Dr. Chris Scolese said. “The capabilities we are putting into orbit will help expand the U.S. intelligence advantage and keep our nation safe.”
NRO and USSF have a shared interest to strengthen the nation’s SDA and Indications & Warning capabilities to enable timely decision making to defend DoD and IC critical capabilities against current and projected threats.
NRO and USSF have been collaborating on SDA to enable effective defense of space capabilities. By working together, the NRO-led acquisition, with USSF support, will increase mission capability and leverage opportunities for cost efficiency. Additionally, SILENTBARKER shows the flexibility inherent in the acquisition approaches the NRO uses to deliver timely capabilities to our users by launching this mission three years from Critical Design Review.
“Today’s launch was a team effort and the culmination of years of innovation and diligence from all corners of the NRO,” Office of Space Launch Director Col. Eric Zarybnisky said. “The speed at which this program went from concept to on orbit illustrates our commitment to getting new technologies into use as fast as possible. This helps us stay ahead of our competitors and ensures our users have the best possible space domain awareness to do their jobs.”
For future missions, NRO and USSF are working hand-in-hand to shape the future of space-based Ground Moving Target Indicators (GMTI), which will provide day, night, all-weather detection and tracking of ground and maritime targets for the warfighter. Working with USSF and other military services, the NRO’s flexible acquisition approaches will allow us to develop and acquire reliable and resilient GMTI systems at speed, delivering this critical capability to the warfighter in the very near future.
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