IRAQ: SPACE IS THE PLACE Military space operations played a bit part in the first Gulf War. This time around, Aviation Week reports, space will get a meatier role.
Now, air strike planners routinely seek inputs from milspace (military space) experts to ensure a number of GPS satellites will be in view over a target area, particularly when GPS-aided weapons are to be delivered. They also rely on satellite-derived weather information and imagery of target areas. And as U.S. and coalition air forces move toward network-centric operations, space-based communication links become critical to the planning process.Looking beyond Saddam, military space chiefs want to do more than help with targeting and communication. They're also trying to turn de-nuclearized versions of Minuteman III ballistic missiles into quick-strike weapons of conventional war.