SBIRS’s New Ride

Lockheed Martin will build the Air Force’s fifth and sixth Space Based Infrared System satellites on new, more modern and upgradable spacecraft, the company announced. “Migration to the modernized A2100 will help keep SBIRS ahead of America’s adversaries while dramatically reducing costs and cycle times,” company Vice President and Program Manager David Sheridan said in a release. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center officials approved the company’s request to modify the 2014 fixed-price, block-buy contract, according to an SMC release. “Implementing the satellite modification at no additional cost to the government reflects a true win-win agreement for the Air Force and Lockheed Martin,” said Program Director Col. Mike Guetlein. Shifting to the A2100 allows the company to cut costs by consolidating the number of different spacecraft it produces, according to the release. GEO-5 and GEO-6, which eventually will replace the first two SBIRS spacecraft on orbit, are slated for completion in 2022.