Lockheed Martin to begin concept development for U.S. Air Force Space Fence

MOORESTOWN, N.J., 1 July 2009. Lockheed Martin won from the U.S. Air Force a $30 million contract to begin concept development for Space Fence, a system of land-based S-Band radars and supporting operations centers that will detect and report on objects and debris orbiting the Earth. Lockheed Martin is one of three industry teams to receive contracts.

Jul 1st, 2009

MOORESTOWN, N.J., 1 July 2009. Lockheed Martin won from the U.S. Air Force a $30 million contract to begin concept development for Space Fence, a system of land-based S-Band radars and supporting operations centers that will detect and report on objects and debris orbiting the Earth. Lockheed Martin is one of three industry teams to receive contracts.

The Air Force Materiel Command's Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., leads the procurement for Space Fence, which is intended to enhance space situational awareness as legacy systems in the Space Surveillance Network (SSN) are retired, says a representative.

A Lockheed Martin-led industry team will perform prototyping, design, trade studies, and analysis of potential system configurations, concluding with a system design review and final prototyping demonstration.

The contract also includes site and facility surveys, and planning and development of net-centric approaches to integrate with the existing architecture of the SSN. The remaining effort -- through preliminary design review, system development, deployment, and follow-on support -- will be the subject of future competitive procurements. The new system's Initial Operational Capability is scheduled for 2015.

The Lockheed Martin-led team, which includes General Dynamics, AT&T, and AMEC, has decades of collective experience in space-related programs including sensors, mission-processing, cataloging, orbital mechanics, net-centric communications, and facilities.

"The ability to detect and to track smaller objects in space will significantly improve mission support for U.S. Air Force space operations in an increasingly complex domain," says Linda Haines, Space Fence program manager for the Air Force Materiel Command.

"Space Fence will provide a fully-integrated, net-centric radar 'system of systems' that will allow information to be shared on the Global Information Grid with space operators across the community," adds Carl Bannar, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's radar business in Syracuse, N.Y.

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