The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center's Space Based Infrared Systems Wing has announced the successful completion of critical design reviews for the SBIRS Follow-On Production program for the Highly Elliptical Orbit and Geosynchronous payloads. The SFP program is currently procuring two additional HEO payloads, HEO-3 and HEO-4, for flight on a classified host satellite and two additional GEO satellites, GEO-3 and GEO-4.
The Critical Design Review was accomplished by a joint SBIRS Wing, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems and Aerospace Corporation team. LMSS, Sunnyvale, California, is the prime contractor for the SBIRS program and NGES, Azusa, California, is the principal subcontractor for payload integration and test. The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, California, provides technical and managerial support to the Wing with the objective of achieving mission assurance, reliability, technical performance, and on-schedule delivery. The SBIRS Wing provides oversight and program management of the SFP program.
SBIRS is the next-generation missile early warning system designed to enhance and augment the Defense Support Program satellites. The SBIRS mission areas include missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness. The HEO payload consists of a single scanning sensor. The GEO payload consists of both a scanning sensor and a staring sensor. The scanning sensor provides continuous observation and surveillance of traditional intercontinental ballistic missile threats. The SFP program completes the four satellite geosynchronous constellation and procures additional HEO systems. Procurement of payload long-lead items for the HEO-3 and GEO-3 effort began in March 2008 with the HEO-4 and GEO-4 long-lead procurement beginning in July 2009. Major sub-assemblies for the HEO-3 and GEO-3 payloads will be delivered to NGES during 2010; starting the assembly, integration and test phase for each payload. Completion of the four payloads is projected to occur between 2012 and 2014.
The SBIRS Wing develops, deploys and sustains a US$25.2-billion portfolio of surveillance satellites and associated ground control stations for the DSP and the SBIRS program. These systems detect, track and report global and theater ballistic missile attacks against the U.S., our allies, and combat forces to support warfighting decisions by combatant commanders.