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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

16 August 2016

New SBIRS Ground System Enters Operational Testing

USAF Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center and 460th Space Wing have successfully completed the Space-Based IR Systems Block 10 ground system’s Integrated Test and Evaluation (IT&E) phase and entry into Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE), the dedicated operational testing phase of the programme. Key development, operations and test stakeholders met to provide an accurate readiness assessment of the Block 10 ground system’s ability to enter and successfully complete dedicated operational testing. Based on stakeholder inputs, USAF  Operational T&E Command began dedicated operational testing at the Mission Control Station at Buckley AFB, Aurora, CO/USA on 12 June and shifted to the backup Mission Control Station at Schriever AFB on 16 July.

The SBIRS programme delivers timely, reliable and accurate missile-warning and IR surveillance information to the president of the US, the US secretary of defence, combatant commanders, the intelligence community, and other key decision makers. The system enhances global missile launch detection capability, supports the US’ ballistic missile defence system, expands the country’s technical intelligence gathering capacity, and bolsters situational awareness for soldiers on the battlefield.

The new Block 10 ground system consolidates operational C2 of Defense Support Program satellites, SBIRS Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting satellites and SBIRS Highly Elliptical Orbit sensors under one primary Mission Control Station at Buckley AFB. It also significantly increases performance capability across the four SBIRS mission areas of missile-warning, missile-defence, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence.

The Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center manages the SBIRS Block 10 development programme. Lockheed Martin Space Systemsis the SBIRS prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is the payload integrator.