Northrop Grumman and an Israeli firm plan to tap into the developing trend toward tactical spy satellites that can be built and launched on short notice.
Northrop's partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) promises it will make IAI's TESCAR satellite available to the United States for specific military missions within about two years of being ordered.
"This new system provides a capability that complements both existing and U.S. military and intelligence community capabilities," said Northrop Vice President Alexis Livanos. "When they want to move quickly on any given contingency, users now have an option that offers greatly reduced timelines for deploying tactical satellites at low cost and at very low risk."
Northrop said in a news release this week that it would integrate its ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) mission systems into IAI's TESCAR satellite. TESCAR is a multi-mode X-band spacecraft that is scheduled to be launched for the first time this summer. The first TESCAR will be launched for the Israeli military, but Northrop said it would demonstrate its rapid-response capability after the launch.