US Air Force to launch new missile warning satellite in May


The US Air Force (USAF) is all set to launch a first-of-its-kind missile warning spacecraft in May this year.

The new spacecraft, called the first geosynchronous (GEO-1) Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS), has been delivered to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida by the USAF and Lockheed Martin team.

The satellite is scheduled to be blast off on board an Atlas V rocket early May.

The new satellite, equipped with highly sophisticated scanning and staring sensors, has been built to provide significantly improved missile warning capabilities while supporting other critical missions simultaneously including missile defence, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

The US aims to use the SBIRS systems to protect its territory and troops from global and theater ballistic missile attacks.

Under the original contract, the SBIRS programme consisted of two Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites, two Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) payloads riding on host satellites, and associated world-wide deployed ground systems.

Lockheed Martin, which is the prime contractor for the programme, is also under a follow-on production contract to deliver additional HEO payloads and the third and fourth GEO satellites, and associated ground modifications.

The USAF is expected to operate four satellites under the SBIRS programme.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Mar 9 2011. Filed under Space, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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