Space Force considering role in tactical intelligence mission

By Courtney Albon / February 3, 2021 at 10:46 AM

A Space Force team is studying the possibility of developing a tactical intelligence satellite, according to the Chief of Space Operations.

Asked today during a Defense Writers Group virtual event whether the mission resides within the Space Force's portfolio, Gen. John Raymond said though the mission has traditionally fallen to the intelligence community, the service is exploring whether it can develop a low-cost, small satellite to contribute to the broader capability.

"I think as technology has allowed for smaller satellites to be more operationally relevant, I think if you can do so at a price point that is cheaper, then there is a role for operational-level tactical satellites as you described and that the Space Force would have a role in that," Raymond said. "That's something we're thinking through as we speak."

Raymond emphasized that the effort is "very early" in the study phase.

"I've got a group of folks doing some work on what that design might look like," he said. "Whatever we do, we'll make sure that we do in close partnership with our intelligence partners because what we don't want to do is duplicate efforts."