The United States took a major leap forward in its ability to detect missile threats with the announcement of a fully operational space-based early warning system last Monday, May 6.

Raytheon Technologies (RTX) unveiled their advanced ground system, FORGE MDPAF (Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution Mission Data Processing Application Framework), which is now processing data for the US Space Force’s Overhead Persistent Infrared Battlespace Awareness Center (OBAC).

This new technology marks a significant upgrade in the nation’s ability to identify and track potential missile attacks.

FORGE MDPAF: A Scalable Solution for Multi-Source Data Processing

FORGE MDPAF acts as the central nervous system for the Space Force’s constellation of missile-warning satellites.

The system’s true strength lies in its adaptability. It can ingest and analyze information not just from dedicated military sources but also from civilian and environmental sensors.

This comprehensive approach allows for a more complete picture of potential threats, providing valuable insights that might otherwise be missed.

“There are thousands of satellites on orbit today and space is an increasingly contested domain,” says Sandy Brown, vice president of Raytheon Mission Solutions & Payloads, in a statement. “FORGE MDPAF is designed to scale in a way that can handle the current volume of missile warning data and grow to support future proliferated space data processing needs.”

With tensions rising in recent years, particularly concerning China’s hypersonic missile tests, the need for robust detection capabilities has become paramount.