SBIRS GEO 3 satellite on track for launch
The US Air Force’s next Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite is on track for its October launch, having been delivered to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 2 August by Lockheed Martin.
The satellite, known as GEO Flight 3, will join the SBIRS satellite network, where it will enhance the US military’s ability to detect missile launches. The network supports ballistic missile defence, expands technical intelligence gathering, and bolsters situational awareness on the battlefield.
SBIRS includes a combination of satellites in GEO orbit, hosted payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit, and ground hardware and software.
The next SBIRS satellite, GEO Flight 4, is in storage and will undergo final assembly, integration and test operations prior to its planned 2017 launch. SBIRS GEO-5 and GEO-6, which are currently in production, incorporate the a modernised A2100 spacecraft to reduce costs and increase the potential to incorporate future, modernised sensor suites.
David Sheridan, vice president of overhead persistent infrared systems, Lockheed Martin, said: ‘SBIRS GEO satellites are our nation’s missile warning sentinels and are critical assets to the US military’s continually evolving mission. With GEO Flight 3’s successful testing and delivery to the launch site, we’re expanding the military’s ability to receive timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information.’
SBIRS GEO Flight 3 will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in October.
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