Production Contract for Fifth, Sixth SBIRS Satellites

The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.9 billion contract to complete production of GEO-5 and GEO-6, the fifth and sixth Space Based Infrared System satellites, announced the Pentagon on Tuesday. Work under this contract is projected for completion in September 2022, according to the contract write-up in the Pentagon’s list of major contracts for June 24. This contract builds upon a previous award last year that covered procurement of long-lead-time parts for these two satellites. The Air Force realized more than $1 billion in savings with this contract as a result of utilizing a block-buy contracting approach and applying production and management efficiencies, according to a release from service space acquisition officials. “We eliminated unnecessary layers of program oversight and contract reporting, restructured our test program, and streamlined the production schedules,” said Col. Mike Guetlein, SBIRS production program manager. The first two SBIRS satellites are operating on orbit. The Air Force expects to receive GEO-3 by year’s end. GEO-4 is under assembly. SBIRS satellites complement, and will eventually replace, legacy Defense Support Program spacecraft that detect missile launches worldwide. GEO-5 and GEO-6 will replenish the constellation when the first two SBIRS spacecraft reach the end of their service lives, states the release.?? (See also Lockheed Martin release.)