Lockheed Martin has received a $1bn contract to operate and maintain the ground control systems of the US military’s Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geostationary satellites.
SBIRS is part of the Defense Department’s missile warning network that detects ballistic missile launches. It includes a combination of two infrared sensors in a highly elliptical orbit and five satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit.
Lockheed Martin has been the SBIRS primary contractor since the mid-1990s.
The five-year sole-source contract is for operations and maintenance of the SBIRS mission control centre at Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado, and other operations centres at Peterson Air Force Base and Greeley Air National Guard Station.
The Space Force plans to transition to a new network of missile warning satellites called Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared and a new ground system called Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE). Lockheed Martin is under contract to produce three Next-Gen OPIR geosynchronous satellites, the first of which is projected to launch in 2025.