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Lockheed Martin receives SBIRS satellite contract

25th June 2014 - 16:49 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract worth $1.86 billion to complete the production of the fifth and sixth Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites for the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS). The satellites - GEO-5 and GEO-6 – provide continuous early warning of ballistic missile launches and other tactical intelligence.

The SBIRS architecture includes a resilient mix of satellites in GEO, hosted payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), and ground hardware and software. The GEO-1 and GEO-2 satellites both received US Air Force Space Command Operational Acceptance in 2013.

GEO-3 is currently is undergoing acoustic and thermal vacuum testing and is on schedule for delivery at the end of 2014. GEO-4 recently entered final assembly, integration and test.

Jeffrey Smith, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Overhead Persistent Infrared mission area, said: ‘SBIRS provides capabilities critical to our nation’s defense but we also understand in today’s environment that we need to find that perfect balance between capability and affordability. This contract is the third part of a thoughtful acquisition strategy aimed at further reducing cost and cycle time for GEO-5 and GEO-6, while still providing exceptional data to the warfighter.’

The SBIRS programme delivers timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information to decision makers. The system enhances global missile launch detection capability, supports the US’ ballistic missile defense system, expands the country’s technical intelligence gathering capacity and bolsters situational awareness for warfighters on the battlefield.

The SBIRS team is led by the Infrared Space Systems Directorate at the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the SBIRS prime contractor, Northrop Grumman is the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.

The Shephard News Team


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