Space-Based Infrared System Warned U.S. Forces of Iranian Missile Attack

(C4ISRNET) On Jan. 8, 2020, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq in response to the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani. 110 people were treated for traumatic brain injuries but no one was killed. The U.S. forces were able to take cover in bunkers, thanks to America's Space Based Infrared System, a constellation of six satellites that surveils Earth's surface 24/7 to detect missiles. The Space Force's 2nd Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, provided the critical early warning to seek cover. The satellites detect infrared light created during the launch of ballistic missiles, allowing operators to see every missile launch taking place around the world. The Government Accountability Office said in 2019 the system cost $20 billion. "That night it came out of nowhere. It was a lot of missiles quick, and we could see where they were trying to impact," said Mission Commander 1st Lt. Mariano Long. The squadron picks up hundreds of missiles per year, with combatants using missiles in conflicts in Armenia, Yemen and Syria, to name a few.

2021-01-14 00:00:00

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