Northrop Grumman has taken delivery of the Defense Weather Satellite System (DWSS) spacecraft flight hardware ahead of schedule, marking progress on satellite fabrication.

The hardware includes flight hardware assemblies and the first-flight shipset of Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers.

The DWSS will replace the existing Defense Meteorological Satellite Programme, which has been providing reliable, high-fidelity, near-real-time information about weather conditions for military use since the mid-1960s.

The system will also monitor environmental conditions around the world to inform aviation, naval, and coastal marine operations and land assets.

The propulsion hardware will be delivered by the end of the year.

The Northrop-led team includes Tesat-Spacecom, General Dynamics, VACCO Industries and Tavis.