One of the U.S.'s top weapons supplier for the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin, was awarded a $4.9 billion contract modification for three missile-warning satellites.
The contract means that Lockheed Martin will manufacture, assemble, integrate, test, and deliver three Next Generation Geosynchronous (NGG) Earth-orbiting space vehicles (SV).
The news was shared online by the U.S. Department of Defense on Monday.
These missile-warning satellites will be operated by the U.S. Space Force and be used to give the initial warning of a ballistic or tactical missile launch from anywhere on Earth.
The January 4 modified contract to Lockheed Martin sets out that "Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California, and is expected to be completed May 31, 2028." It also includes ground system software and ground mission unique software.
If all goes to plan, the first GEO satellite could launch by 2025, reported Space News.
Per Defence Blog, Col. Dennis Bythewood, the Space and Missile Systems Center’s program executive officer for Space Development, said in 2019 that "NGG is a critical piece of U.S. missile warning architecture that will deliver a capable, defensible system to counter determined adversaries."
These three NGG SVs will provide a global missile warning against threatening forces from space that will only improve defense around the globe.