The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center awarded a $1.86 billion contract to Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, California, for production of the fifth and sixth Space-Based Infrared System, or SBIRS, geosynchronous, or GEO, missile-warning satellites.
"This is a great day in the history of the SBIRS program," said Col. Mike Guetlein, the production program manager. "We saved hundreds of millions by relentlessly pursuing efficiencies. We eliminated unnecessary layers of program oversight and contract reporting, restructured our test program, and streamlined the production schedules."
The Air Force implemented the Defense Department’s Better Buying Power practices to make this program more affordable.
"The magnitude of the savings is remarkable and directly attributable to the hard work and dedication of the combined Lockheed Martin and Air Force team over the past two years," said Lt. Col. David Menke, the Air Force's lead to build the next two satellites.
SBIRS is the next-generation strategic missile-warning system replacing the 1970s Defense Support Program constellation. SBIRS delivers global, overhead, persistent, task able 24/7 infrared surveillance capabilities to meet 21st century demands for early warning of missile launches, while simultaneously supporting other critical missions including missile defense, technical intelligence and battle space awareness.
The SBIRS objective constellation consists of four GEO satellites, two highly elliptical earth orbit payloads, and associated ground infrastructure. The fifth and sixth satellites will replenish on-orbit satellites in the constellation in order to maintain the required operational mission capabilities.
The SBIRS program is led by the Infrared Space Systems Directorate at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is the SBIRS prime contractor. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, California, is the payload integrator. The 460th Space Wing at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., operates the SBIRS system.
AFSPC’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., is the Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems.