7/17/2015 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced the delivery of the third Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite into storage at the Lockheed Martin facility in Sunnyvale, Calif.
"This delivery represents a major milestone for the SBIRS program." said
Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Space and Missile Systems
Center and Program Executive Officer for Air Force Space. "It
represents seven years of hard work and dedicated performance by
Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, the Aerospace Corporation, multiple
support contractors, and my Government team. It's yet another instance
of SMC delivering on our promises."
This satellite is a critical component in the next generation early
missile warning system and is designed to replace the legacy Defense
Support Program satellites. The SBIRS primary mission areas include
strategic and theater missile warning, strategic and theater missile
defense, technical intelligence, and battlespace characterization. The
satellite sensors also collect data that can be used in support of
weather missions and civil applications, showcasing program office
efforts to exploit the capabilities of the SBIRS sensors' capabilities.
The SBIRS GEO satellites have both a scanning and a "staring" sensor.
The scanning sensor provides continuous observation and surveillance for
intercontinental ballistic missile launch detection. The staring
sensor has better sensitivity and a faster revisit rate and is able to
detect very low signature, short-range theater ballistic missiles. Both
sensors have the ability to detect natural disasters, such as wildfires
and volcanic eruptions. The dual sensor payload, with the ability to
independently task the sensors, allows the satellite to rapidly and
repeatedly provide global scans for infrared activity while
simultaneously staring at specific areas of interest.
The SBIRS satellite and payload production programs are managed by the
Space Production Division of the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at
SMC, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime contractor and Northrop
Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., is the payload provider. The
460th Space Wing at Buckley Air Force Base 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.
The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, is the
U.S. Air Force's primary location for acquiring and developing military
space systems. Its portfolio includes Global Positioning System,
military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites,
space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, remote
sensing systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.