Space-based infrared system to see support from Lockheed Martin

BETHESDA, Md. Lockheed Martin has been awarded nearly $163.9 million for support of the space-based infrared system (SBIRS). The contract, awarded specifically to the company's Lockheed Martin Space division by the Department of Defense, covers SBIRS contractor logistics support.

Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

The SBIRS are intended to provide early missile warning for the U.S. military through infrared surveillance. It evolved from the Defense Support Program to meet requirements of defense and intelligence communities as part of the missile defense system. It also provides battlespace awareness and technical intelligence for both communities.

According to the U.S. Air Force Space Command, the SBIRS program consists of space segment Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellites, Highly Elliptical Orbit sensors riding on host satellites, legacy DSP satellites, and the associated world-wide deployed ground systems.

The SBIRS will eventually be replaced by the Pentagon's Next Gen Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites, which will include large GEO satellites and cheaper, smaller satellite operating in low earth orbit, the Air Force's Space and Missile System Center confirmed a couple weeks ago.