The US Space Force (USSF) will continue to contract L3Harris Technologies to modernise its Maintenance of Space Situational Awareness Integrated Capabilities (MOSSAIC) programme.

On 19 April 2023, the USSF announced it will allocate $145m to continue maintaining the programme.

MOSSAIC is designed to support of the US military’s space surveillance and command centres in Colorado, California and Virginia. MOSSAIC detects, tracks and identifies deep space objects to provide timely and accurate space surveillance information.

Situational awarness has been hightened in every domain, from China’s spy balloon incident to Indo-Pacific maritime presence.

L3Harris Space and Airborne Systems president Ed Zoiss stated: “Space domain awareness is rooted in data and having the right information at the right time, which is critical to warfighting operations in all domains.

“MOSSAIC advancements will improve current detection and tracking capabilities to better understand the location and behavior of objects in space.”

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A USSF and US Space Command programme, MOSSAIC upgrades will modernise space domain awareness ground systems to enable the execution of mission tasks associated with emerging threats. This will include upgrades to communications infrastructure that allows for machine-to-machine taskings to track and respond to thousands of objects in space.

The L3Harris modernisation initiatives will provide the USSF with maximised awareness, which is a core tenet of its mission to ensure safety, security and sustainability across the entire space domain.

Despite the country’s trailblazing efforts to consollidate and mobilise the space domain in an era of multi-domain and interoperable capabilities, an urgent sense of complacency still remains.

According to the Chief of Space Operations, General Chance Saltzman, “a far more subtle form of complacency” has settled in the American mindset. “One that grows out of the comfort of continuity, the comfort of our expertise, the comfort of our successes… I fear we think it will work well forever”.

This urgent mindset emphasising readiness will serve the USSF well in the coming decade as the space domain becomes an integral battlespace in its own right. L3Harris’s work to continually sustain programmes like MOSSAIC will allow the US to maintain consistently informed decision-making. This enables the country to consolidate its competitive edge over adversarial regimes, which are consistently ambitious to overtake the US.