Jeffrey LewisMicrosat Kinetic Kill Payload (MKKP)

A US military briefing on Space Operations describes the so-called Microsat Kinetic Kill Payload (MKKP):

  • Mission: Destruction of Enemy Spacecraft
  • Up to 10 can be placed in orbit in 1 SMV [Space Maneuver Vehicle, ed.] using rotary launcher
  • Target DATA passed to MKKP while in the SMV
  • Autonomous after launch
  • Identifies Target
  • Initiates hyper-velocity “tail chase”
  • Real-time imagery provides damage assessment

Leave it to the military to call a co-orbital intercept “chasing tail.” Hoo-ah.

The MKKP sounds like the XSS-10 based killer microsatellite (also known as the orbit flexible counterspace microsat) that Theresa Hitchens and I, in Defense News, suggested the Air Force was considering:

The “single strongest recommendation” of the Air Force/’s 1999 Microsatellite Technology and Requirements Study was “the deployment, as rapidly as possible, of XSS-10-based satellites to intercept, image and, if needed, take action against a target satellite,” according to an unclassified summary published in 2000.

In fact, I thought the diagram (below left) on the slide looked eerily familiar–turns out I was right: It is an XSS-10 diagram (below right) with an conical KV amateurishly slapped on top of it.

The diagram on the right is FROM David A. Barnhart et al, “XSS-10 Micro-satellite Demonstration,” AIAA-1998-5298, AIAA Defense and Civil Space Programs Conference and Exhibit, Huntsville, AL, Oct. 28-30, 1998, Collection of Technical Papers (A98-45901 12-66).