"National security space assets provide Joint Warfighters and our nation with strategic warning, assured communication, and precision positioning, navigation and timing--an unrivaled advantage in today's security environment. Use of these capabilities has evolved considerably in recent years; however, the space systems themselves have not. Many of these systems have designs that date back to the Cold War. Requirements in that era were driven by the compelling need for nuclear attack warning and the desire to maintain a bilateral balance of power. Threats to space systems were deemed a tolerable risk, since an attack in space would be provocative and escalatory and might be interpreted as a prelude to nuclear war. However, the security environment of today is much different than in the past. Previous considerations led to satellite designs that maximized the size, weight, and capability of every payload within the constraints of a given launch vehicle.1 Performance was prioritized over protection as the threat of 'mutually assured destruction' reduced any risk of an attack. System designs naturally evolved to become increasingly complex, integrated and expensive. Our current satellites are marvels of modern engineering, but their suitability is critically dependent on the strategic balance of a foregone era. This paper examines the need to provide resilient and affordable capabilities to preserve our operational advantage in space. The focus is on 'disaggregating' space capabilities onto multiple platforms or systems."
United States. Air Force Space Command: http://www.afsp.af.mil/