On Wednesday, the Department of Defense announced that it has awarded Lockheed Martin's Space Systems division two contracts worth a combined $342.6 million.

The first and largest award, a $284.4 million fixed-price incentive firm target contract, is for "advanced procurement" for the Space-Based Infrared Systems GEO 5-6 program. Better known by its acronym SBIRS, this system is part of the nation's missile defense program. Lockheed describes  SBIRS as "one of the nation's highest priority space programs," providing satellite-based "global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities" to instantly detect missile launches on Earth. The instant contract relates to one of two sets of satellites making up SBIRS, specifically "Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting" (GEO) satellites. A second constellation of satellites complements the first, and is designated by its own orbital path -- "Highly Elliptical Orbit" (HEO).

Lockheed was originally contracted to supply two GEO satellites, and subsequently received a contract to build two more. The instant contract lays the groundwork for Lockheed preparing to build a fifth and sixth GEO satellite.


Lockheed's other big space contract of the day is a $58.2 million award relating to another system entirely, providing funds for Lockheed to buy "long lead items" needed to construct "Global Positioning System III Space Vehicles 7 and 8."

Lockheed is already working on a preexisting GPS contract. Earlier this month, it was awarded $62 million for work on Space Vehicles 5 and 6 of this same GPS III system. GPS III aims to "improve position, navigation, and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities, yielding superior system security, accuracy, and reliability" in America's system of GPS satellites. 

The article Lockheed Wins More than $342 Million in Military Satellite Work originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lockheed Martin. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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