WASHINGTON — L3Harris Technologies on Sept. 16 opened a classified facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the company will assemble and test satellites for U.S. missile-defense programs.

A dedication ceremony on Thursday was attended by Indiana lawmakers and Defense Department officials Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency, and Walt Chai, director for space sensors at the Missile Defense Agency.

L3Harris is producing four missile-tracking satellites for the Space Development Agency under a $193.5 million contract it won in October. Under a $121 million contract it received in January from the Missile Defense Agency, L3Harris is developing a sensor satellite to track hypersonic and ballistic missiles.

“Our customers face rapidly evolving threats now, not in years,” said Ed Zoiss, president of L3Harris Space and Airborne Systems. “We’ve increased our investment and expanded our capacity prior to receiving program awards.”

The classified facility supports engineering, integration, testing and program management and brings the total size of the L3Harris campus to 150,000 square feet, said Zoiss. 

L3Harris in August announced it is also expanding its Palm Bay, Florida, site to increase production capacity for classified military satellites.

At the Central Florida location the company is developing and testing the experimental Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. 

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...