US: The US Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a USD 914 million contract to improve the way objects are tracked in space and increase our ability to prevent space-based collisions. Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence solution, an advanced ground-based radar system, will enhance the way the US detects, catalogs and measures more than 200,000 orbiting objects. With better timeliness and improved surveillance coverage, the system will protect space assets against potential crashes that can intensify the debris problem in space.
“Space-based technologies enable daily conveniences such as weather forecasting, banking, global communications and GPS navigation, yet everyday these critical services are being threatened by hundreds of thousands of objects orbiting Earth. Space Fence will locate and track these objects with more precision than ever before to help the Air Force transform space situational awareness from being reactive to predictive," said Dale Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business.
Lockheed Martin will deliver up to two advanced S-Band phased array radars for the Space Fence programme. The Space Fence radar system will greatly improve Space Situational Awareness of the existing Space Surveillance Network. Construction of the new Space Fence system on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands is slated to begin in the early 2015 to meet the programme’s 2018 initial operational capability goal. The total contract value is estimated at greater than USD 1.5 billion over an eight-year period of performance if all options are exercised.
Source: Lockheed Martin