Rick Ambrose, head of Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) space business and a 2019 Wash100 winner, told C4ISRNET in an interview published Monday that the Air Force’s missile warning satellite initiative – Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program – will offer more flexibility and built-in resiliency capabilities.
He noted that the company is competing for the Next-Gen OPIR program’s payload component.
“We’re going to put in some of our smart sat processing that will help with the payload. We’ll make sure we can incrementally upgrade, or the Air Force can, over time,” Ambrose said.
He also discussed the push of Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics and fellow Wash100 winner, for agility and speed; the Space and Missile Systems Center; resilience at the space level; the GPS III satellite program; and Lockheed’s effort to modernize production.
“In the old days everyone would hand-lay down the solar cells,” Ambrose said. “We now have robotics and automation equipment just literally laying those cells down. It’s more predictable.”