Military early warning satellites to begin migration to new ground system
WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin announced Sept. 16 it received a $51.2 million contract to begin integrating U.S. missile warning satellites with a new ground system that is being developed to command and control all military satellites in the future.
Under the contract from the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Lockheed Martin will analyze the risks in the process of migrating a Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous satellite to the next-generation Enterprise Ground Services, known as EGS. The contract specifically applies to the two newest satellites of the SBIRS constellation, GEO-5 and GEO-6.
EGS will be a common command-and-control architecture that will be used to fly all military satellites in the future so the Space Force doesn’t have to develop a new ground system every time it introduces a new satellite.
Lockheed Martin said the transition of SBIRS (either GEO 5 or GEO 6) to the new ground system will serve as a “pathfinder” for the migration of three Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) satellites that the company is developing and are projected to start launching as early as 2025.
Separately from the EGS program, the Space Force is developing a new ground system to collect and process data from missile warning satellites, called Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution, or FORGE.
The Next Gen OPIR satellites will be flown by a Lockheed Martin-developed system called NIO-F (Next Gen Interim Operations – FORGE) that will be used until EGS and FORGE are operational.