Defense

Space Force awards Lockheed Martin $4.9 billion for missile warning satellites

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WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin secured $4.9 billion to construct three missile warning satellites for the U.S. Space Force, in line with a Jan. Four announcement.

The firm already acquired $2.9 billion in 2018 to start work on the satellites, which might be a part of the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR) system. That contract lined improvement via important design evaluate, accomplished in October 2020. With that step completed, this system was prepared to maneuver ahead with manufacturing the satellites.

An artist's rendering of the fifth geosynchronous Space Based Infrared System on orbit. (Lockheed Martin)

Next Gen OPIR is being constructed to interchange the Space-Based Infrared System, the nation’s premier missile warning constellation. The new constellation might be made up of 5 satellites: three in geosynchronous orbit and two masking the polar areas. The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has chosen Lockheed Martin to contribute the previous, whereas Northrop Grumman will present the latter.

The Space Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $2.Four billion contract modification in May for part one design and improvement, procurement of important flight {hardware} and risk-reduction efforts resulting in important design evaluate.

The two infrared sensors underneath improvement for Next Gen OPIR handed their preliminary design evaluate in May. Those sensors are being developed by Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems working with Ball Aerospace.

The U.S. Air Force has labored to shift extra money to the Next Gen OPIR program lately in an effort to make sure the primary satellite tv for pc is delivered in 2025. That’s required extra money up entrance, which the Air Force has shifted to this system via a variety of reprogramming requests, a supply of division between competing variations of the annual protection budgets within the House and Senate. But SMC credited that reprogramming with conserving Next Gen OPIR on observe.

“While the program acceleration to meet this threat head on created a near-term funding shortfall, Congress’ support of the DoD’s $161M reprogramming request has kept the program on track, and I am confident we will close the remaining shortfall in FY20 to enable delivery of our first satellite in 2025,” Col. Dennis Bythewood, SMC’s program government officer for house improvement, stated in October.





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