First Installment for More Missile Warning Satellites

The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin an $82 million contract to begin work on GEO-5 and GEO-6, the fifth and sixth Space Based Infrared System missile warning satellites, announced the company. This initial contract covers “complete non-recurring engineering activities” and procurement of select “long-lead spacecraft parts,” states the company’s Oct. 25 release. It “will sustain a steady production rate,” said Jeff Smith, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Overhead Persistent Infrared mission area. He added, “By the Air Force acquiring satellites in bulk, rather than one at a time, we can significantly reduce costs by achieving economies of scale.” The Air Force is procuring these two satellites under a fixed-price contract structure. Already, GEO-1, the first SBIRS geosynchronous satellite, is in space. GEO-2 is scheduled for launch in March 2013, according to Lockheed Martin. GEO-3 and GEO-4 are in various stages of fabrication.