Air Force Accepts New Missile Warning Control Station from Lockheed Martin
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, AURORA, Colo, January 7th, 2002 -- The United States Air Force has declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the new ground control station that operates the nation's network of satellites used to detect and track missile launches around the world. The Mission Control Station (MCS) is the first major phase to be fielded of the three increments in the Air Force's Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS). SBIRS is an important element of the country's missile defense system. Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Northrop Grumman developed the MCS. It consolidates three legacy ground stations into one SBIRS ground station and provides additional capabilities to improve support to the operators. The MCS establishes the foundation for both the SBIRS High and Low satellite constellations, which when deployed, will notify the National Command Authority of missile launches twice as fast as the current Defense Support Program (DSP) system.
"This new ground station capability clearly demonstrates the great things government and industry can accomplish together to improve the strategic and tactical posture of the United States. The teamwork exhibited by both the Air Force user and test communities is a template for how mission suitability and effectiveness should be evaluated. The SBIRS program office is to be commended for its focus on deploying a reliable system that's easier to use and designed to effectively integrate the important capabilities of SBIRS High and Low in the future," said Jeff Harris, president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Ã± Missiles & Space Operations.
Leading up to the Initial Operational Capability, the two companies collaborated with the Air Force on writing and certifying the hardware and software that conduct the primary mission of missile warning in one control station with at least equal or better performance than the previous system. The companies also trained the military personnel who operate the system, and will be installing a back-up control station in an alternate location. In June 2001, the Mission Control Station entered an evaluation period and began performing primary command and control operations for the DSP satellites.
"This was an extraordinary effort requiring the combined and concerted efforts of the entire contractor and Air Force team. The SBIRS MCS provides a missile warning capability for our nation that is superior to the legacy systems and offers the efficiency of reduced operating costs. I'm extremely proud to have been a party to this remarkable effort," said Hal Garner, vice president, SBIRS High ground segment, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Ã± Management & Data Systems.
The SBIRS program will provide the nation with new worldwide missile detection and tracking capabilities. It is an integrated "system of systems" with multiple space components and an evolving ground element. This delivery consolidates functions of three legacy DSP ground stations into one and provides an open architecture to accommodate SBIRS High and Low components as they are fielded. SBIRS High will add four satellites in geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) and two sensors in highly elliptical orbit (HEO). SBIRS Low will add 20-to-30 satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) to provide mid-course missile tracking.
Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the SBIRS system of sy
stems. Northrop Grumman is a key member of the Lockheed Martin team. Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of defense electronics and systems including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, air traffic control systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an $18 billion, global defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and nuclear and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With nearly 100,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a highly diversified global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's core businesses span space and telecommunications, electronics, information and services, aeronautics, energy and systems integration. Lockheed Martin had 2000 sales surpassing $25 billion.