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Lockheed delivers next SBIRS satellite to Cape Canaveral

Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force have delivered the next Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite to Cape Canaveral, the company announced.

The satellite, known as SBIRS GEO Flight 3, was delivered to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Aug. 2, ahead of its October launch, Lockheed said in a statement.

SBIRS includes a combination of satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit, hosted payloads in highly elliptical orbit and ground hardware and software.

The data provided by SBIRS enhances the military’s ability to detect missile launches and support ballistic missile defense, expands technical intelligence gathering and bolsters situational awareness on the battlefield.

The system will help expand the military’s ability to receive timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information, Lockheed said.

The GEO Flight 3 satellite was manufactured in the company’s Sunnyvale, Calif., facility and was transported by a C-5 Galaxy aircraft.

The SBIRS will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The next SBIRS satellite, GEO Flight 4, is scheduled to launch in 2017.

The 406th Space Wing out of Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado operates the SBIRS.