The fourth missile warning satellite that Lockheed Martin built for the U.S. Air Force has reached operational acceptance designation from Space Command. The service said Thursday that the Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit 4 satellite transmits data to the 460th space wing-run mission control station at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado.
SBIRS GEO-4, which launched in January 2018, fielded its solar array, light shade antenna wing assemblies upon reaching its intended orbit through a series of transfer orbit maneuvers. The satellite is designed to provide infrared coverage and support the service branch’s efforts to replace missile warning and detection satellites that have been in operation for over four decades.
Lockheed’s space business is the prime contractor on the SBIRS program and Northrop Grumman’s electronic systems segment serves as the payload integrator.