First Lockheed Martin SBIRS HEO System Achieves USSTRATCOM Certification

Released on Monday, December 15, 2008
United States of America
GEO - Geostationary Orbit
HEO - Highly Elliptical Orbit
SBIRS - Space Based InfraRed System
USSTRATCOM - United States Strategic Command
SUNNYVALE, Calif, December 15th, 2008 -- The first Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO-1) payload and ground system, built by a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] team, has been certified for operations by U.S. Strategic Command.

SBIRS is designed to provide early warning of missile launches, and simultaneously support other missions including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

The formal certification by U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) completes the system development, operational activation and certification process, demonstrating the capability of the SBIRS HEO sensor and associated ground systems to provide timely, accurate and unambiguous warning data to National Command Authorities in support of the USSTRATCOM missions.

"HEO certification represents a major milestone for the entire SBIRS team," said Jeff Smith, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS vice president. "This system is providing significantly improved infrared event detection and reporting capabilities for the warfighter, and we look forward to delivering even greater capabilities with the launch of the GEO system."

The SBIRS team is led by the Space Based Infrared Systems Wing at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., as the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.

"The superb quality and operational utility of the HEO-1 data thoroughly demonstrates the system's capabilities," said Steve Toner, vice president of the SBIRS program at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "This achievement underscores the potential performance of future SBIRS payloads."

HEO payloads provide an unprecedented infrared view of the battlefield that represents the first steps in an evolving battlespace awareness capability while also providing real-time data on missiles, aircraft and other events.

Lockheed Martin's current SBIRS contract includes the two HEO payloads now on-orbit, two GEO satellites, as well as ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data. The program is in the early stages of adding additional GEO spacecraft and HEO payloads to the planned constellation.

Source: First Lockheed Martin SBIRS HEO System Achieves USSTRATCOM Certification

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