Looking for a SBIRS Competitor?

News wires report that DOD acquisition chief Ken Krieg has told Congress that the Pentagon will continue the Space Based Infrared System, despite its history of cost overruns. However, it is stripping two satellites from the program and plans to work with lawmakers to develop a SBIRS rival to provide a competitive atmosphere. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne told reporters at a Pentagon briefing that the problems befalling SBIRS stemmed from deficient engineering and design innovation. He wants the service to instill a higher level of technical maturity in its space efforts. “It’s time for us to freeze configurations at a mature level and get what we can get out of a robust satellite,” Wynne said. In his view, the service could have launched SBIRS earlier when it still hovered at the $2 billion mark, instead of letting it run to today’s $6 billion. The other $4 billion, said Wynne, should have gone to design another spacecraft.