Lockheed, Raytheon Get Fenced In

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon each have won a $107 million contract for the next phase of the Air Force’s Space Fence program, the Defense Department announced Wednesday. Under the contracts, each company’s team will provide a preliminary design of the Space Fence during a period of performance that USAF officials have previously stated would be about 18 months. The Space Fence is a notional network of S-band ground-based radars for detecting and tracking orbiting space objects, including those smaller in size than current sensors track. Slated to begin operations in 2015, the fence would replace the 1960s-era VHF-based Air Force Space Surveillance System and be an integral component of the nation’s space situational awareness network. The preliminary design work is expected to pave the way for a subsequent production contract with one vendor to supply the fence. (DOD list of major contracts for Jan. 26)