Lockheed Martin Receives $1 Billion Contracts for Operations of SBIRS Ground Systems

The SBIRS ground control centers are the subject of a five-year sole-source contract for operations and maintenance.

Fremont, CA: The US Space Force announced on June 4 that Lockheed Martin got awarded a 1 billion dollars contract to manage and maintain the ground control systems of the US military's Space Based Infrared System geostationary satellites.

SBIRS is a component of the Pentagon's missile warning system, which detects ballistic missile launches. It consists of five satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit and two infrared sensors in a very elliptical orbit.

Before the mid-1990s, Lockheed Martin is the principal contractor for SBIRS. On May 18, the launch of fifth satellite. The sixth and final SBIRS is currently in development and scheduled to debut in 2022.

The SBIRS mission control center located at Buckley Space Force Base in Colorado and several other centers at Greeley Air National Guard Station and Peterson Air Force Base will operate and maintained under the five-year sole-source contract.

The contract covers logistics services of existing ground systems and upgrades required to operate its last two satellites of the SBIRS geosynchronous constellation, SBIRS GEO-5, and SBIRS GEO-6, according to Rob Walker, Lockheed Martin's director of overhead persistent infrared operations and sustainment.

The Space Force intends to switch to a new system of missile warning satellites known as Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (NGOPI) and a new ground system known as Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE). The first of three Next-Gen OPIR geosynchronous satellites, built by Lockheed Martin, is scheduled to launch in 2025.

The new contract will cover work on maintaining and sustaining infrastructure for the next-generation Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution ground control system and ensuring the operational integration of the SBIRS GEO-5 and GEO-6 satellites.

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