Is TacSat in Danger?

Is TacSat in Danger?: The Government Accountability Office believes that the Pentagon’s lack of a department-wide strategy puts the future of the tactical satellite program “in danger,” said Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.) at a recent House subcommittee hearing. Reyes wanted some assurance from Air Force Undersecretary Ron Sega that there was ample “commitment” to support “operationally responsive space.” Sega indicated that there was indeed in the works an overall small satellite strategy, one that includes both TacSats to provide support to tactical commanders and even smaller satellites to fill a 24/7 need for space-based surveillance. He added that the newly envisioned Alternate Infrared Space Surveillance system might fit into the latter area. Part and parcel of the strategy, said Sega, will be opportunities for “technology maturation,” the lack of which has created some cost problems with current and past programs. Sega said that the small sat program is an “area of discussion” for the 2008 budget and added that it would have a “more prominent role as we go forward.”