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07:03 AM, August 15, 2018
Lockheed to Build Three Infrared Geosynchronous Spacecraft for $2.9 Billion
Space based infrared surveillance (Image: Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $2.9 billion contract for three Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Space Vehicles. 

This contract encompasses requirements analysis, design/development, critical path flight hardware procurement, early manufacturing, and risk reduction efforts leading to a system critical design review, the United States department of defense said in a statement Tuesday.

Work is expected to be completed by April 30, 2021. Space based infrared surveillance (SBIRS) uses infrared surveillance to provide early missile warning for the US military and is considered one of the nation’s highest priority space programs. The system includes a combination of satellites and hosted payloads in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) and Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) and ground hardware and software.

SBIRS has overhead sensors that provide vast amounts of data. At the SBIRS Mission Control Station, Overhead Persistent Infrared Battlespace Awareness Center at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, this data is being used for operational applications across areas like battlespace awareness, intelligence and 24/7 tactical alerts.

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