Preserving the Option

The first delivery of a Third Generation Infrared Surveillance (3GIRS) satellite, the successor to the Space Based Infrared System, could occur in Fiscal 2016 if development of its design commences in Fiscal 2010, according to the Air Force’s notional planning schedule established in its Fiscal 2009 budget plan. However, the first launch of this satellite is not slated until Fiscal 2019. But could the launch occur earlier? Yes, USAF says. “Starting system design in FY10 preserves the option to deliver the satellite as early as FY16 with a launch in FY17,” the Air Force tells the Daily Report. “However, the FY09 [President’s Budget] funding profile supports an FY19 launch.” USAF says it anticipates formal initiation of the 3GIRS program in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2010.