Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Air Force have hit a milestone in developing and testing the second of four total missile-warning satellites, the company announced Monday.
The Bethesda, Md.-based company’s SBIRS contracts include four highly elliptical orbiting payloads and ground assets to process infrared mission data.
Northrop Grumman completes payload integration and the Air Force Space Command operates the system.
The company said the schedule for the four satellites began last May with delivering and launching the first satellite.
Launches will continue through 2016 and the contract includes an option for a fifth satellite.
According to the company, the satellite is ready for delivery to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and could launch as early as May.
Once the Air Force sets the launch day, the company will install the spacecraft’s final components and conduct final factory confidence tests.
Julie Pecson, the company’s director of SBIRS space vehicle products, said the company and the Air Force leveraged experiences gained in delivering the first satellite in order to streamline testing and delivery preparation for GEO-2.
The company is also providing the Air Force a radar system for tracking orbiting space objects and an advanced extremely high frequency military communications satellite, which was scheduled to launch this month.