A $4.5 billion contract has been awarded to the TRW
Company of Redondo Beach, Calif., to build and deploy the
nation’s future environmental satellite system, the Commerce
Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced today.

The contract is for the Acquisition and Operations (A&O)
phase of the National Polar-orbiting Operational
Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). NPOESS will combine
the nation’s military and civilian environmental satellite
programs into a single national system that will
significantly improve weather forecasting and climate


“This award is an example of NASA, NOAA and the Department of
Defense working together to better the return on our research
and development investment to the American people, one of the
challenges put forth in the President’s management agenda,”
said NASA Deputy Administrator Fred Gregory.

“By working together on this advanced satellite system, the
three agencies will make the nation’s environmental satellite
system more efficient, cost effective and more responsive to
our country’s environmental information needs,” said VADM
Conrad C. Lautenbacher, USN (Ret.), NOAA administrator and
under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. “This
new system will provide vital information about our weather,
environment, climate, and oceans. In addition our integrated
effort is expected to result in taxpayers saving
approximately $1.6 billion over the NPOESS lifetime.”

As directed by the tri-agency Integrated Program Office
(IPO), TRW will be the prime contractor for Shared System
Performance Responsibility to accomplish the A&O and program.
TRW will develop, fabricate, and deliver the NPOESS satellite
and ground systems as well as provide launch support,
operations, and support services for the system through
Initial Operational Capability. The IPO will provide timely
funding; clearly defined requirements; mutual participation
of instrument development teams; and executive reviews.

“This effort ultimately means the war fighter is receiving
higher quality data sooner, and we’re doing it with very
significant savings.” said Peter B. Teets, Under Secretary of
the Air Force. “This is an example of getting our acquisition
programs on track and saving valuable defense dollars
wherever we can.”

NOAA has overall responsibility for the converged system, as
well as satellite operations and interactions with the civil
and international user communities. The Department of Defense
has the lead agency responsibility for major systems
acquisitions, including launch support. NASA has primary
responsibility for facilitating the development and
incorporation of new cost-effective technologies into the
converged system. Representatives from NOAA, DOD, and NASA
participated in the NPOESS A&O source selection, which was
held in Silver Spring, Maryland.

For information about the NPOESS program on the Internet,