US Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin GEO 5 and GEO 6 Contract for SBIRS
[Via Satellite 06-26-2014] The United States Air Force awarded a $1.86 billion fixed-price contract to Lockheed Martin to complete production of the fifth and sixth Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites for the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS). The system provides the U.S. government with continuous early warning of ballistic missile launches and other tactical intelligence data.
The architecture of the SBIRS program entails a range of satellites in GEO, hosted payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) and ground hardware and software. GEO 1 and GEO 2 received Air Force Space Command Operational Acceptance in 2013, and GEO 3, scheduled for delivery in late 2014, is currently undergoing acoustic and thermal vacuum testing at the Lockheed Martin facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. GEO 4 is in the final assembly, integration and testing stage.
The SBIRS program supports situational awareness for warfighters on the battlefield and delivers accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance data to the president of the United States, the secretary of defense, combatant commanders, the intelligence community and other top-level decision makers. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for SBIRS, with Northrop Grumman as the payload integrator.