The Air Force recently awarded Lockheed Martin [LMT] nearly $405 million in space systems contracts, kick-starting work on additional Global Positioning System (GPS) III and Space-Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) satellites.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a $284.4 million fixed-price incentive firm target contract for advanced procurement for the SBIRS GEO 5-6 program, the Air Force said Wednesday. Lockheed Martin Military Space Vice President and General Manager Mark Valerio said yesterday in a statement the contract authorizes procurement of long-lead parts for the fifth and sixth satellites. Work is expected to be completed by June 2016.

The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $58.2 million contract modification for long-lead items for GPS III space vehicles 7 and 8, the service said Wednesday. Work is expected to be completed by June 2017. Lockheed Martin was also awarded a $62 million firm-fixed-price contract for GPS III space vehicles 5 and 6, the Air Force said Feb. 8. Work is also expected to be completed by June 2017. Valerio said these contracts to begin work on the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth GPS III satellites reinforce the importance of the program.

Valerio said these contracts will enable a steady and streamlined production pace across the company’s portfolio and will facilitate long-term affordable and efficient satellite procurement. Valerio also said Lockheed Martin shifted from cost-plus to fixed-price contracting to help the Defense Department limit its risk, while still targeting cost reduction.

“As we shift from cost-plus development work to fixed-price production, we can reduce program oversight, reduce the number of needed tests, reduce labor hours, eliminate unnecessary meetings and standardize parts and processes,” Valerio said.