Lockheed-Led Team Bidding for $1.9B AF Space Fence Program; Steve Bruce Comments

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has submitted its proposal to the U.S. Air Force for a new ground-based radar system for identifying and tracking objects in space, the company announced Tuesday.

The contract to build the Space Fence radar will be worth up to $1.9 billion over seven years, the company said, replacing the current Space Surveillance System originally installed in 1961.

Teammates of Lockheed include General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) and AT&T (NYSE: T).

“The original surveillance system wasn’t designed to detect and track the hundreds of thousands of smaller, orbiting objects that are in space today, potentially threatening the International Space Station, future manned space flight missions and our nation’s critical satellite assets, ” said Steve Bruce, vice president for space surveillance systems at the mission systems and sensors business.

In its proposal, Bruce said the company aimed to include situational awareness.

The Air Force plans to begin construction at its first Space Fence site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the fall of 2013 to meet the program’s 2017 initial operational capability goal.

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