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Northrop Grumman announced on 11 January 2024 that it is developing the Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) that will track objects in geosynchronous Earth orbit, protecting critical US and allied satellites.

DARC is a global network of three advanced ground-based sensors to be operated in collaboration among the partner nations of the AUKUS alliance: the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

The DARC initiative was announced on 2 December 2023 after the three AUKUS partners signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2023. The collaborative effort is intended to expand beyond what the individual nations could achieve alone with regard to space domain awareness: one of the most critical domains for future security.

“Northrop Grumman’s highly advanced DARC technology will operate 24/7, in all weather conditions, filling critical gaps in the ground-based element of the space domain awareness architecture enterprise,” Northrop Grumman stated in a press release.

Site surveys performed in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia have confirmed that these locations are optimally positioned to detect, track, identify and characterise objects in deep space. All three sites are expected to be operational by the end of the decade.

The Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) is a next-generation ground system that will provide space domain awareness on a global scale. (Image: Northrop Grumman)