Germany's TIRA observation radar. Credit: Fraunhofer FHR

WASHINGTON — U.S. Strategic Command and the German military will share space situational awareness data, the U.S. organization announced Jan. 26.

The agreement is the latest signed by the U.S. government as it seeks to bolster its space situational awareness capabilities.

The United States has signed similar agreements with the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Australia, Italy, France and the Republic of Korea as well as with the European Space Agency and several other organizations, including some in the private sector.

Germany operates the Tira Tracking and Imaging Radar space surveillance facility, located near Bonn, which features a 34-meter-diameter L-band tracking antenna. The German Defense Staff has also established a German Space Surveillance Center.

“Space Situational Awareness requires cooperation, and arrangements such as this allow us to partner more effectively,” U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of Strategic Command, said in a press release. “As more countries, companies and organizations field space capabilities and benefit from the use of space systems, it is in our collective interest to act responsibly, promote transparency and enhance the long-term sustainability, stability, safety and security of space.”


Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.