In a recent article in National Defense Magazine about the U.S. Air Force’s challenges of efficiently developing and deploying space technology, ASP Directory of Strategy and Communications Paul W. Hamill urged the military to rethink its decades old business model.
We have a system right now where we have big, one-off, specialized satellites that need huge rockets and engines to get them up there… We need to move away from that model.
The consensus in the article is that for the U.S. to maintain its space superiority, the U.S. Air Force will have to change its strategy when it comes to the deployment and procurement of new technology. Hamill went on to say:
Let’s get smaller stuff up that can do bits of everything because let’s face it, if we have a state actor or non-state actor shoot one of these down, it’s not easily replaceable. If you shoot three down, we’re in serious trouble.
The satellites and technology that are deployed to space have a direct effect on the battlefield for the U.S. military. However, at the current rate of deployment, much of the technology that the Air Force is able to launch to space is already generations behind. This is an area where the private space industry can pick up the slack and decrease America’s dependence on Russia to get to space. Hamill added:
The military side of space issues and launch capabilities are stuck in the early 1990s. We’ve actually got private companies out there who can do this. Industry and the private sector have moved on. It’s the public sector who haven’t.