Space Force declares SBIRS GEO-5 ready for 2021 launch

By Courtney Albon / December 2, 2020 at 2:23 PM

The Space Force has declared the fifth geosynchronous-orbit Space Based Infrared System satellite ready for launch in 2021, prime contractor Lockheed Martin announced today.

The company said in a press release it took just five years to develop and produce the satellite, which is the first to incorporate the LM 2100 bus. SBIRS GEO-6, set to launch in 2022, will also incorporate the LM 2100.

“We added even further enhanced resiliency features to the LM 2100 to create an initial 'combat bus' for the Space Force,” Lockheed’s Vice President for Overhead Persistent Infrared Systems Tom McCormick said in the release. “SBIRS GEO-5 has proven itself a valuable incremental step towards achieving the resilient missile warning that will be provided by the Next-Gen OPIR Block 0 system.”

Next-Gen OPIR is the follow-on program to SBIRS, and Lockheed is on contract to build the first three Block 0 satellites, which are expected to start launching in 2025 and will feature the LM 2100 bus.