Looking to contribute to national security space, IHI Corporation and Northrop Grumman Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at DSEI Japan, to cooperate and work together towards providing small, highly manoeuvrable satellites for missions such as Space Domain Awareness (SDA) for Japan.
Satellites that are ‘indispensable’ for modern economic and social activities such as meteorological satellites, quasi-zenith satellites, broadcasting and communication satellites, make up a part of the social infrastructure. Servicing for these satellites is starting as a business – while some satellites orbit the earth in a manner deemed friendly, there are others that move suspiciously.
For this reason, Japan’s National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy of December 2022 call for strengthening SDA and the need for SDA satellites.
To contribute to the national security space of Japan, the US, IHI and Northrop Gruman have agreed to cooperate in activities that will oversee providing small, highly manoeuvrable satellites for missions such as SDA for Japan.
For over a decade, IHI has used its own facilities to provide space situational awareness data services for the safe operation of satellites. In recent years, the company has turned its attention to the movement of satellites. IHI group company IHI Aerospace has provided propulsion devices to Northrop’s commercial satellites and spacecraft.
“Recently, we have seen a rise in military surveillance efforts from other countries, which is becoming a national security threat. We need to characterize suspicious satellites to understand the threat,” said Fumiharu Namiki, Vice President, Aero Engine, Space & Defense Business Area, IHI Corporation and concurrently IA President. “Northrop Grumman’s demonstrated experience in this field and the long-standing cooperation between our companies makes them our best partner to pursue solutions to these problems. We will cooperate together to contribute to the stable use of space.”
“This collaboration combines IHI’s long heritage in Japan’s space business with Northrop Grumman’s unparalleled experience in SDA,” added Troy Brashear, Vice President, national security systems, Northrop Grumman Space Systems. “We will rapidly work together towards an affordable and effective SDA solution for Japan.”