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This article was Originally Published on Apr 19, 2006 in Volume: 5  Issue: 1

Air Force needs to step up satellite development pace, general says

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The U.S. Air Force needs to step up the pace at which it develops satellite technology, according to Lt. Gen. Michael A. Hamel, commander of the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Hamel, speaking at a recent symposium in Keystone, Colo., said the service should continue to explore the boundaries of technology in satellite development, but that it should also look at ways to get the technology sooner. “We need to focus on other things other than just simply, can we build the satellites bigger with [better communication] links and rest of that, and get to a much faster market kind of model,” Hamel said. In order to help speed up satellite development, the service has adopted a “back to basics” strategy emphasizing more block or incremental development, he said. This philosophy will present a better way to manage risk, try to reduce cycle time and deliver meaningful capabilities sooner, Hamel said.

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