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NRO Prepares to Launch Satellites for Advanced Surveillance from Space



Clear Facts

  • The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is gearing up to launch new satellites that will enable the U.S. military and intelligence community to monitor moving vehicles and individuals from space.
  • The NRO has already tested this concept by deploying satellites into orbit, and is now set to launch operational satellites, as stated by NRO director Christopher Scolese.
  • In collaboration with the NRO, the Space Force plans to “develop and field GMTI system” in fiscal year 2025, with a budget request of $244 million for its “Long Range Kill Chains” program, which includes the GMTI effort.

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is on the verge of launching new satellites that will provide the U.S. military and intelligence community with the capability to track moving vehicles and people from space. This initiative is part of the Air Force’s effort to replace its E-8 JSTARS aircraft, which currently provides targeting data, with more resilient space assets.

The NRO has already sent prototype satellites into orbit to test the concept. According to Christopher Scolese, director of the NRO, these prototypes were successfully deployed and tested in collaboration with the Space Force and other services.

“The prototypes were launched and delivered in about 36 months from concept to launch, have operated fine, and we have exercised with Space Force and the other services, to prove their capability and that we’re ready to move on to production,” Scolese stated at the National Security Innovation Base Summit.

However, the NRO has not revealed when the operational satellites will be launched or when they will be fully functional. The agency is developing the program in partnership with the Space Force, whose operators will be responsible for operating the new satellites and managing the sensors.

Details about the program are limited, but it is known that the Space Force plans to collaborate with the NRO to “develop and field GMTI system” in fiscal year 2025, as indicated in budget documents. The Space Force is requesting $244 million in its 2025 budget for its “Long Range Kill Chains” program, which includes the GMTI effort and “auxiliary payloads”. Over the next few years, the service plans to invest more than $1.2 billion in this initiative.

The “Space-based GMTI system will provide actionable information on adversary surface targets to the warfighter through the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) as an integral part of Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept. The USSF is collaborating with the Air Force and the intelligence community to design, develop, and deploy space-based GMTI systems,” according to the documents.

However, the progress of the GMTI program depends on the approval of a fiscal 2024 budget by Congress, as the initiative is a new start in last year’s budget request, according to Space Force officials.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. Master Glock

    March 31, 2024 at 7:52 am

    This is like an oppossing team giving the other team their playbook for the up coming game. Why are things like this put in the news/internet? For the same reason George Floyd is a Hero for BLM and Antifa. Stupid I’m mean really stupid, some might call them ignorant people are in charge and running the Media. This comment will be in Moderation for several days and never posted.

  2. Frank E Allen

    March 31, 2024 at 5:37 pm

    Pretty sure this will not go over well with countries like China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and any other adversaries of the U.S. Hope these satillites will also be equipped with state-of-the-art self-defense capabilities to prevent adversarial entities from trying to take them down. Will also probably receive harsh criticism from organizations with overly sensitive egos who will complain about government agencies spying on citizens. Make sure you have covered all the bases before going ahead with this plan, optherwise the could be a mountain of fallout.

  3. CharlieSeattle

    April 1, 2024 at 11:33 pm

    Dozens of look down nuclear powered Mw Lasers should ‘already’ be in space orbit, on land and seal ready to target Mach 5++ Hypersonic missiles to stop the EMP threats or worse. Why? Russia and Communist China deployed Mach 5++ Hypersonic missiles…………2 YEARS AGO!

    Otherwise we are toast!

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