The US Space Force (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) has contracted Northrop Grumman for the Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC).

Worth $341m, this contract will support the USSF’s Space Domain Awareness mission. Northrop Grumman will be responsible to develop, trial, and supply the capability.

Northrop Grumman integrated national systems vice-president Pablo Pezzimenti said: “The DARC programme will field a resilient ground-based radar providing our nation with significantly enhanced space domain awareness for geostationary orbit.

“While current ground-based systems operate at night and can be impacted by weather conditions, DARC will provide an all-weather, 24/7 capability to monitor the highly dynamic and rapidly evolving geosynchronous orbital environment critical to national and global security.”

DARC will aid in improving the military’s space surveillance network. It will act as an extra sensor with enhanced abilities to keep track of deep space objects while offering complete worldwide coverage.

Started by the US Air Force, preliminary or critical design effort on the DARC project commenced in 2017.

The preliminary DARC contract covers the design, development and delivery of a Site 1 system sited in the Indo-Pacific region.

This is projected to be finished in 2025. In addition, there will be a follow-on of two more locations strategically placed around the world.

Earlier this month, the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) signed an agreement with Northrop Grumman to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant prototype.