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 ñ 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

"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 ñ
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 systems.
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.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Low- and high-resolution JPEG image files of the exterior
of the building that houses the SBIRS ground station are available at the
following URL:

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