Lockheed Martin building two more satellites for SBIRS program

Lockheed Martin is building two more satellites for early warning of ballistic missile launches.
By Richard Tomkins   |   June 26, 2014 at 8:19 AM

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 26 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin is to build two more Space-Based Infrared System satellites for continuous early warning of ballistic missile launches.

The contract from the U.S. Air Force for SBIRS geosynchronous Earth orbit satellites five and six, which will also collect tactical intelligence, is worth $1.86 million.

"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," said Jeffrey Smith, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared mission area. "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."

Lockheed Martin said SBIRS architecture includes a mix of satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit, hosted payloads in highly elliptical orbit and ground hardware and software.

GEO-1 and GEO-2 satellites are operational. GEO-3 is undergoing testing in California and GEO-4 is in final assembly.

Lockheed is the prime contractor for the SBIRS project. Northrop Grumman is responsible for payload integration.

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