Ahead of the October launch of the next Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite, the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin recently delivered the satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
SBIRS relies on satellites in GEO orbit,
which work in conjunction with hosted payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO)
and ground hardware and software to allow the military to better detect missile
launches, mount a ballistic-missile defense, gather technical intelligence
and improve situational awareness.
"SBIRS GEO satellites are our nation's
missile-warning sentinels and are critical assets to the U.S. military's
continually evolving mission," Lockheed Martin Overhead Persistent
Infrared Systems Mission Area Vice President David Sheridan said.
The satellite that will be launched into orbit in October, the SBIRS GEO Flight 3, was manufactured in Sunnyvale, California.
"With GEO Flight 3's successful testing and delivery to the launch site, we're expanding the military's ability to receive timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information," Sheridan said.
SBIRS GEO Flight 4 is currently in storage, awaiting final assembly before its 2017 launch, and Lockheed Martin is currently manufacturing SBIRS GEO 5 and GEO 6, which will reduce costs and cycle times through incorporation of the modernized A2100 spacecraft.