Latest News

Millennium Space Systems Completes CDR for Missile Track Custody Space Vehicle 

By Rachel Jewett | November 28, 2023
      Millennium Space Systems completes PDR for Missile Track Custody satellite. Photo: Millennium Space Systems

      A rendering of Millennium Space Systems’ Missile Track Custody satellite. Photo: Millennium Space Systems

      Millennium Space Systems, a Boeing company, has achieved the critical design review (CDR) for its Missile Track Custody (MTC) space vehicle. Millennium announced the CDR on Tuesday, less than a year after it received authorization to proceed.

      The MTC program is part of Space Systems Command’s (SSC) Space Sensing Resilient Missile Warning, Missile Tracking, Missile Defense (MW/MT/MD) program office. The program is pursuing small satellites in Medium-Earth Orbit (MEO) for missile warning. 

      Millennium’s CDR included review for the full space segment of the program with a complete space vehicle and constellation design. 

      Lindsay Dewald, deputy project manager of the MTC program for Millennium Space Systems, told Defense Daily that the company won the contract in July 2021, with an initial focus on mission payload development. Millennium passed a CDR in November 2022, which then led to authorization to proceed to development of the first space vehicle. Now that the space vehicle CDR is completed, Millennium is authorized for five more space vehicles for the constellation.

      Dewald said the space vehicle is designed to be compatible with multiple launch vehicle providers.

      “We’re really disrupting the traditional missile warning and defense industry with how fast we’re moving the development of this system and the performance of the payload on the system itself,” Dewald said.

      The Missile Track Custody program is designed to defend against advanced threats like intercontinental ballistic missiles and hyper-glide vehicles, Jason Kim, CEO, Millennium Space Systems, told Defense Daily

      “If you just look at the hyper-glide vehicle, there’s nothing out there today that can track those advanced threats,” Kim said. “This program, Missile Track Custody, is specifically designed to track those threats and to hold custody of those threats so that we can support our overall layered missile warning, missile tracking missile defense architecture.”

      According to SSC, the Millennium satellites are part of “Epoch 1,” which will lay the foundation for ground operations and communications infrastructure, provide initial MW/MT capabilities, and serve as prototypes for future Epochs. 

      “We are rolling out these capabilities as fast as possible. The design is maturing very well and once on-orbit, will be instrumental in delivering some of our early missile warning and missile tracking capabilities,” said Col. Heather Bogstie, senior materiel leader for the SSC MW/MT/MD program office, said in an SSC release.

      Defense Daily reporter Cal Biesecker contributed to this article.