[SatNews] The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $914 million contract to improve the way objects are tracked in space and increase the ability to prevent space-based collisions.
Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence solution, an advanced ground-based radar system, will enhance the way the U.S. detects, catalogs and measures more than 200,000 orbiting objects. With better timeliness and improved surveillance coverage, the system will protect space assets against potential crashes that can intensify the debris problem in space.
“Space-based technologies enable daily conveniences such as weather forecasting, banking, global communications and GPS navigation, yet everyday these critical services are being threatened by hundreds of thousands of objects orbiting Earth,” said Dale Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “Space Fence will locate and track these objects with more precision than ever before to help the Air Force transform space situational awareness from being reactive to predictive.”
Lockheed Martin will deliver up to two advanced S-band phased array radars for the Space Fence program. The Space Fence radar system will greatly improve Space Situational Awareness of the existing Space Surveillance Network. Construction of the new Space Fence system on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands is slated to begin in the early 2015 to meet the program’s 2018 initial operational capability goal. The total contract value is estimated at greater than $1.5 billion over an eight-year period of performance if all options are exercised.
With more than 400 operational S-band arrays deployed worldwide, Lockheed Martin is a leader in S-band radar development, production, operation and sustainment. The Lockheed Martin led team, which includes General Dynamics and AMEC, has decades of collective experience in space-related programs, including sensors, mission processing, cataloging, orbital mechanics, net-centric communications and facilities.
One of Lockheed Martin's Space Fence infosites is located at http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/space-fence.html