5/13/2015 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Air Force has successfully completed the on-orbit checkout of the third Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) sensor operating in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO-3) over the northern hemisphere.
HEO-3 was launched in 2014 on a host satellite. HEO-3 is the first major
delivery from the SBIRS Follow-on Production contract, which also
includes the third and fourth SBIRS geostationary satellites and the
fourth HEO payload.
"This truly was a monumental effort by our Contractor, Government, and
Aerospace team. I am extremely proud of the hard work and perseverance
of the launch team, the operations team and the countless other
professionals whose dedication to the warfighter made this success
possible," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the Space and Missile Systems
Center commander. "With the successful on-orbit checkout of this
payload, SMC has once again delivered on our commitment to the
warfighter. This sensor is a critical component of the on-orbit
constellation of Missile Warning sensors, and enhances the combined
constellations of Defense Support Program (DSP) and SBIRS satellites."
The SBIRS program is managed by the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate
at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin
Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime
contractor, and Northrup Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., is
the payload integrator. The 460th Space Wing at Buckley AFB in Aurora,
Colo., operates the SBIRS system. The SBIRS program delivers timely,
reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance
information to the President of the United States, the Secretary of
Defense, Combatant Commanders, the intelligence community and other key
decision makers. The system enhances global missile launch detection
capability, supports the nation's ballistic missile defense system,
expands the country's technical intelligence gathering capacity and
bolsters situational awareness for warfighters on the battlefield.