Air Force awards space radar development contract

The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $220 million contract to continue development of the Space-Based Radar program, the company said.

The 24-month study contract awarded by the service's Space and Missile Systems Center will fund the continuing definition of the program's system requirements and evaluation of alternative design concepts for the system architecture. During the development phase, Lockheed Martin will develop and evaluate multiple candidate architectures, including the integration of Space-Based Radar with other existing and planned surveillance systems.

Space-Based Radar is a transformational system being developed for the Defense Department to provide global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the military and intelligence community. It will include a constellation of spacecraft that can monitor the entire Earth's surface.

Final selection of the prime contractor for the multibillion-dollar program will be made in 2006, with initial launch scheduled for 2012.

Lockheed Martin's team includes Cisco Systems Inc., General Dynamics Corp., Harris Corp., Honeywell Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

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