?Maintaining Space Superiority

The Air Force on April 5 awarded Boeing a $275 million contract to research ground-based space technology. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract calls for Boeing’s Directed Energy and Strategic Systems arm to advance capabilities that would maintain technological superiority in space from the ground, according to the Defense Department announcement. Boeing’s bid was one of four competitive offers. Work will be done at the Starfire Optical range at Kirtland AFB, N.M., and at the Air Force’s Maui Space Surveillance Complex, according to a Boeing release. Completion of the research, engineering, and program management is expected by Nov. 3, 2020. The Pentagon is working to maintain technological superiority over potential adversaries in space to deter attacks as part of what it has called the “Third Offset” strategy. (See also Risky Business and Updating the Maui Space Surveillance Complex.)