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Digital Battlespace

SBIRS Geo-5 limbers up for launch

26th March 2021 - 13:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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SBIRS Geo-5 in a thermal vacuum test chamber. The satellite will be launched on 17 May. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The fifth and sixth satellites in the missile-warning constellation include a new modular combat bus.

Preparations are in progress at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for the launch on 17 May of the fifth geosynchronous Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite for the US Space Force.

The SBIRS constellation is designed to detect missile launches anywhere in the world and feed the resulting data to the US missile defence network.

Manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced on 25 March that SBIRS Geo-5 is notable for being ‘the first military space satellite built on the company’s modernised, modular LM 2100 combat bus’.

LM2100 is designed to provide greater resiliency and cyber-hardening, as well as enhanced spacecraft power, propulsion and electronics. It also features a flexible design that reduces the cost to incorporate future modernised sensor suites, Lockheed Martin added.

SBIRS Geo-6 is scheduled for launch in 2022 with the same LM 2100 bus.

Besides Geo-5 and Geo-6, the LM 2100 bus is the baseline for three Next Gen OPIR Block 0 satellites that are planned to be launched from 2025. LM 2100 also features in future GPS III satellites to be launched from 2026.

SBIRS Geo-5 in a thermal vacuum test chamber. The satellite will be launched on 17 May. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

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