The Air Force recently successfully launched its second Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO-2) satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., according to an Air Force statement.
SBIRS GEO-2 was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Boeing [BA].
The SBIRS program delivers timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information to key decision makers. The system enhances global missile launch detection capability, supports the United States’ ballistic missile defense system and expands the nation’s intelligence gathering capacity.
The SBIRS architecture includes a mix of satellites in geosynchronous orbit, hosted payloads in highly elliptical earth orbit (HEO) and ground and hardware software. The first two GEO satellites and HEO payloads have now launched.
Lockheed Martin is the SBIRS prime contractor with Northrop Grumman [NOC] integrating payloads.
The Air Force in February awarded Lockheed Martin a $284 million contract for advanced procurement of the GEO-5 and GEO-6 satellites.