Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin Co. was awarded a $3.3 billion contract for orbital operations, logistics and support of three U.S. Air Force satellite systems.
The Defense Department announced the 10-year contract on Friday. It calls for maintenance of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency program, used by the U.S. Air Force and allies British Armed Forces, Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Netherlands Armed Forces, as well as two older systems, Milstar and the Defense Satellite Communications System, used by the United States alone.
Each is a constellation of satellites in a fixed orbit. The AEHF program is composed of six satellites. The first was sent into orbit in 2010, and the last is scheduled to be launched in 2020.
The Milstar and DSCS satellites were launched between 1994 and 2003. Although older, many of the satellites remain operational.
The programs are designed to keep the White House and other government agencies functioning, even in the event of a nuclear attack, and maintain government functions regardless of conditions on the ground.
Lockheed Martin has been the U.S. government's preferred contractor on the programs since 2009, and the contract announced on Friday was a sole source acquisition award.
Work will be performed at Peterson AFB, Colo.; Schriever AFB, Colo., and Lockheed Martin facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif., the Defense Department's contract announcement said.