Lockheed Confirms $284 Million SBIRS Order

On Tuesday, aerospace giant Lockheed Martin confirmed details of a major government satellite contract first announced late last month.

The contract, for long-lead procurement of parts needed to built the fifth and sixth Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites for the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) missile warning constellation, is worth $284.4 million to Lockheed. This contract is in addition to an earlier contract to perform engineering activities preparatory to building the satellites, and to purchase other long-lead parts, awarded in January. That one was worth $58.4 million.

In Tuesday's announcement, Lockheed clarified that it now has all funds necessary to build the satellites. The next SBIRS contract in line will be the actual production contract to build the satellites, and Lockheed says this one will be awarded "under fixed-price terms" -- although no exact amount was named.

To date, Lockheed has won production contracts for four "highly elliptical earth orbit" (HEO) SBIRS satellites, and four GEOs. Once it wins the next contract, the GEO tally will go up to six. Of these several satellites, so far, two HEOs and one GEO are actually in orbit. The GEO-2 satellite is due to launch later this month.

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