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Lockheed Martin began assembling the fourth Space Based Infrared System geosynchronous satellite after finishing its propulsion unit, the company announced on May 6. "This is a significant production milestone for the fourth GEO satellite," said Jeffrey Smith, company vice president in charge of SBIRS. "We are now seeing the efficiency benefits from full production on the SBIRS program and look forward to delivering GEO-4 to the US Air Force in 2015," he added. The second SBIRS satellite was declared operational in November 2013, and the company plans to deliver the third satellite by the end of the year, according to the release. Lockheed Martin is also procuring long-lead items for GEO-5 and GEO-6 satellites under an Air Force Space Command contract. SBIRS will eventually replace the legacy Defense Support Program missile warning constellation.