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Newest missile warning satellite accepted for operations

Notional image of a SBIRS Missile Warning Satellite built on the new, more resilient LM 2100 Combat Bus™ (illustration by Lockheed Martin).

Notional image of a SBIRS Missile Warning Satellite built on the new, more resilient LM 2100 Combat Bus™ (illustration by Lockheed Martin).

Peterson Space Force Base, Colo -- PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colorado – Space Operations Command has accepted Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite 5 as operationally capable and has presented it to United States Space Command for operational use.

SBIRS GEO-5 launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, on May 18, 2021. Since launch, experts from the satellite’s builder Lockheed-Martin, contract manager Space Systems Command and Space Operations Command’s Delta 4 have been completing checks to ensure the nation’s newest and most-capable missile warning satellite is ready to be added to the United States’ missile warning and missile defense architecture.

“The addition of SBIRS GEO-5 to our fleet of spacecraft will improve our nation’s missile warning, missile defense, battlespace awareness and technical intelligence capabilities,” said Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, Commander of Space Operations Command. “The security of our nation, our allies and our fielded forces depends on SBIRS and our Guardians every day.”

SBIRS is operated by the 2nd Space Warning Squadron, Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado.

SBIRS GEO-6, the final planned satellite in the SBIRS GEO series, will launch later this year. The first, SBIRS GEO-1, launched in 2011.

SBIRS on-board sensors are designed to detect infrared signals, such as those given off by a missile or space launch. SBIRS ground crews monitor information gathered by SBIRS and other missile warning satellites and transmit warnings to strategic and theater command centers.