Letter | Lockheed Still Exploring Options on SBIRS


The story “Lockheed Martin Examines Cost-cutting Options for SBIRS” overstates the status of in-process studies Lockheed Martin is conducting on the future of the Space Based Infrared System.

In a phone interview with the reporter, we explained that we are examining several options for future payloads, and that each one offered trade-offs of performance, cost and maturity. We also explained that the study is not yet complete and that the U.S. Air Force would make the final determination on the direction of the program. It is inaccurate to say that Lockheed Martin “concludes” that a single sensor can deliver nearly the performance of two.

Along with our teammate, Northrop Grumman, we’re exploring a number of technology innovation options with a goal of delivering the most efficient and effective SBIRS solution to the Air Force. We have provided the Air Force a number of data points based on a thorough analysis of options to help them make informed and strategic decisions about the future to find the nexus of capability, affordability and resiliency.


Mark Valerio


The writer is Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager for military space.