U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Australian Minister for Defence Stephen Smith agreed to advance the bi-lateral long-term international partnership on space situational awareness by placing two key U.S. space systems in Australia.
The two militaries have agreed that Australia will operate a U.S. Air Force C-band ground-based radar system in Australia. The system will provide a critical dedicated sensor for the U.S. Space Surveillance Network (SSN), which is the principal system that the U.S. and its partners rely on to detect, track, and identify objects in space.
The U.S. and Australia have also decided to work towards the establishment of the Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) on Australian soil. The SST is a state of the art optical telescope designed and built by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) that provides deep space surveillance.