Lt. Col. Jack Walker, of the US Space Force’s special programs directorate, said: “If something poses a threat, we want to follow it.
He added that the UK field, the location of which has not yet been decided, will include around six transmitters and 10 receiving dishes, each 15m in diameter. The entire site will be approximately one square kilometer.
The Darc system will complement RAF Fylingdales’ existing facility on the North York Moors, built in 1963, which can see up to 2,000 km (1,243 miles) above the planet.
The first Darc site will be built by 2025, with all three completed in three years.
There are 30,000 objects in space orbiting the Earth, large enough to cause catastrophic damage to satellites. Ground-based radars are currently the best way to detect and track them.
Britain’s geographic location in the Northern Hemisphere and close to Russia, the West’s main ballistic missile threat, means it is ideal for hosting such facilities.
“Real estate has value,” said Dr. Stephen Pluntze, deputy director of the chief partnerships office at the US Space and Missile Center, adding, “The ground is a big part of space.”
US and UK officials are increasingly concerned about so-called “orbital threats,” satellites that can maneuver close to other spacecraft and inflict damage.