SBIRS ground systems
Lockheed to Support SBIRS Ground Systems Under $1B Contract
According to Rob Walker, Lockheed’s director of overhead persistent infrared operations and sustainment, the billion-dollar deal provides for logistics support and upgrades needed to operate the last two SBIRS satellites.
SBIRS GEO-5, the penultimate addition to the constellation, was deployed in geosynchronous orbit on May 18 via an Atlas V rocket that lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida.
A sixth and final SBIRS satellite is currently under development. The SBIRS GEO-6 is being built using the new LM 2100 combat bus and is projected to launch in 2022.
SBIRS has been operational since 2011. The satellites in the constellation provide long-range surveillance and target detection capabilities to help carry out missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness missions.
A new missile warning constellation called Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared is already being developed to replace SBIRS.
Lockheed is one of the prime contractors for the Next-Gen OPIR satellites. The aerospace company has recently been awarded a $4.9 billion contract to build the first three satellites in the constellation to be deployed in geosynchronous orbit.
Northrop Grumman was also awarded a $2.4 billion contract to begin designing two more Next-Gen OPIR satellites for polar coverage.
Tags: contract award ground systems Lockheed Martin missile warning satellites Rob Walker SBIRS space Space-Based Infrared System SpaceNews U.S. Space Force