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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New Missile Warning Satellite Completes Critical Functional Test

Lockheed Martin | Wed, August 30th, 2006

SUNNYVALE: Lockheed Martin announced today that it has successfully completed an extensive test phase of the first Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellite.

SBIRS will provide the nation with significantly improved missile warning capabilities and support other critical mission areas simultaneously including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization.

The test of the GEO-1 spacecraft, known as Spacecraft Functional Testing (SCFT), was conducted at Lockheed Martin's Space Systems facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif., from April 12 to Aug. 16, 2006 and verified the functional requirements of the GEO spacecraft to ensure it is assembled to specification.

The spacecraft was tested at ambient conditions to verify correct operation of the electrical power, command and data handling, thermal management, guidance navigation and control, communication and propulsion subsystems.

"Completion of spacecraft functional testing is yet another important milestone in our development of this sophisticated program," said Mark Crowley, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS vice president. "The team executed a highly disciplined and successful test and the results give us high confidence that the spacecraft will meet all performance requirements."

With the completion SCFT, the team is now preparing the spacecraft for engineering thermal vacuum testing which will demonstrate the spacecraft performance at temperature extremes greater than those expected during on- orbit operations.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., the SBIRS prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., the payload provider, are developing SBIRS for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Air Force Space Command is responsible for the operation of the SBIRS system.

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide two payloads in highly elliptical orbit (HEO) and two GEO satellites, as well as fixed and mobile ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data. The team has delivered both HEO payloads and is on schedule to launch the first GEO satellite in late 2008.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.

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