STENNIS, Miss., May 25 (UPI) -- The core structure for a U.S. Air Force SBIRS geosynchronous satellite has been delivered to Lockheed Martin's Space & Technology Center.
Engineers at the Mississippi facility will now install the propulsion subsystem for the Spaced Based Infrared System spacecraft, the fourth of a constellation of satellites for enhanced missile warning, intelligence and battle space awareness.
Once integrated, the core propulsion module will be shipped to another facility for final assembly, integration and testing.
"Delivery of the SBIRS GEO-4 core structure is a major milestone indicating the program is continuing to meet its commitments," said Louie Lombardo, director of Lockheed Martin's SBIRS Follow-on Production program.
"Based on lessons learned from the first two SBIRS geosynchronous satellites, production of GEO-3 and GEO-4 is proceeding very well. In addition, we have a number of affordability initiatives in place jointly with the Air Force to continually reduce the cost of each follow-on SBIRS satellite."
The SBIRS GEO-4 structure is made from lightweight, high-strength composite materials, Lockheed Martin said.
The spacecraft is expected to be ready for launch in 2015.