SBIRS GEO-6 Space Vehicle completes production

  • Published
  • By SSC Public Affairs
Space Systems Command’s (SSC) Production Corps achieved a major milestone with the completion of the final Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite, SBIRS Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO)-6 on Sept. 2 at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California production facility. SBIRS GEO-6 will begin final preparations for a scheduled launch in the first half of 2022 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 421 (four-meter payload fairing, two strap-on solid rocket motors, and one upper stage engine) launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

“This is a monumental achievement by the women and men of the SBIRS Program, past and present, who were able to complete production ahead of schedule and deliver on warfighter commitments we made nearly a decade ago,” said Col. Matt Spencer, the GEO/Polar Division Senior Materiel Leader in SSC’s Production Corps. “The additional capability this committed government and contractor team has been able to deliver with SBIRS GEO-6 is nothing short of remarkable given the entire integration and test campaign was done under the COVID-19 pandemic.”

SBIRS is a high-priority U.S. Space Force program that provides worldwide Missile Warning, Missile Defense, Battlespace Awareness, and Technical Intelligence capabilities for the U.S. military and consists of a constellation of satellites in both GEO and Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO). The newest SBIRS satellites, GEO-5 and GEO-6, are based upon Lockheed Martin Space’s modernized LM 2100 spacecraft – an update that improves overall system production, affordability, and resiliency to provide overhead persistent infrared capabilities to U.S. warfighters and allies.

“The SBIRS program is an invaluable part of our early missile warning system,” said Mr. Cordell A. DeLaPena, Jr., U.S. Space Force Program Executive Officer for Space Production. “With the completion of SBIRS GEO-6 our Missile Warning enterprise grows stronger and will be better able to support the warfighter once it is safely launched and integrated into the already existing infrastructure.”

SSC, headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is a U.S. Space Force field command responsible for developing and acquiring lethal and resilient space capabilities for warfighters by rapidly identifying, prototyping, fielding and sustaining innovative, space-based solutions to meet the demands of the National Defense Strategy. SSC’s functions include developmental testing, production, launch, on-orbit checkout, and maintenance of USSF space systems, as well as and oversight of USSF science and technology activities.