The U.S. Space Force acquired signals from the Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit 5 satellite about 36 minutes after it launched Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The SBIRS GEO-5 satellite, which transmitted signals to the Space Delta 4 operations team, launched aboard a United Launch Alliance-made Atlas V rocket to join the other Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites as part of the Space Force’s missile warning satellite constellation, Lockheed said Tuesday.
“SBIRS is the tip of the missile defense spear, seeing all those missiles and providing our military the ability to ensure our national security and the safety of our armed forces,” said Tom McCormick, vice president of OPIR mission area at Lockheed’s space business.
OPIR satellites have surveillance sensors meant to help detect missile launches, collect technical intelligence, improve battlefield situational awareness and support ballistic missile defense operations.
SBIRS GEO-5 is the first military satellite built on Lockheed’s LM 2100 Combat Bus space vehicle that comes with enhanced resiliency and cyber hardening features.
Lockheed said SBIRS GEO-6, which is also based on the LM 2100 Combat Bus, is expected to launch in 2022.