The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Raytheon a contract to further develop the design of the Space Fence system.

The multistatic radar system detects orbital objects in low and medium earth orbits to provide accuracy and meet warfighter space situational awareness requirements.

Under the $107m contract, Raytheon will deliver a preliminary design and test a functional radar prototype to ensure cost and schedule technical maturity of the final design in support of Milestone B.

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems national and theatre security programmes vice-president Dave Gulla said the Raytheon Space Fence solution would provide the USAF with an affordable and increased space situational awareness capability.

The contract is the second phase of a multiphase acquisition programme, leading to the delivery of up to three globally positioned S-band radars operating in the US space surveillance network.