Without confirming, denying, or advertising capability in any way, the Air Force has even given this Space Radar Fact Sheet which provides some articulation of what’s going on.
How to explain the cancellation/getting product disconnect?
That’s really hard to say because disinformation campaigns don’t normally include open testimony.
Well, maybe “disinformation” is a bit strong: ‘not affordable,’ ‘restructuring the program’ and ‘pursing alternative approaches’ can mean many things. Like taking a white program and making it black.
The end of the Air Force Fact Sheet, posted 23 Feb 2011, says “The next program Key Decision Point (KDP), which would be the decision to go into the design phase, is KDP-B, roughly at the end of FY08 or in FY09. The first operational satellite is schedule (sic) to be fielded about 2015.”
OK, so here we are nearing the end of FY11. Nothing is mentioned about the restructure or any subsequent actions.
Is the conclusion the satellite Carlson spoke of is a prototype and it’s working well enough/affordably enough to restart the program? Or is the government continuing the program (because it never quite died)? A sort of operational/prototype hair-splitting type distinction? Or is there something else (like some sort of cut and paste/editing error)?