Letter to the Editor: Fostering open architecture and partnership on space-based missile warning – SpaceNews

In a February 1, 2021 SpaceNews article titled, “An open system for missile-warning satellite data is in the works but faces challenges,” various assertions had been made that had been factually incorrect, deceptive and brought out of context about Lockheed Martin’s function in our nation’s premiere missile warning methods, together with the House-Based mostly Infrared System (SBIRS), the Subsequent Technology Overhead Persistent Infrared (Subsequent Gen OPIR) system and the missile warning mission’s subsequent technology floor management system, the Future Operationally Resilient Floor Evolution (FORGE) MDP (Mission Information Processing) and Enterprise Floor Companies (EGS). 

As well as, these claims overlook Lockheed Martin’s demonstrated dedication to open architectures and methods, together with on these very methods. This text raises some legitimate questions that we imagine are finest solved by belief, partnership and the willingness to work to a typical objective with the U.S. House Pressure, House and Missile Programs Heart and our business companions. 

To set the report straight on a number of factors within the article:

  1. Sharing (SBIRS) knowledge with the Forest Service was tough as a result of floor stations use proprietary know-how designed many years in the past by the Air Pressure’s prime contractor Lockheed Martin”

In 2018, the issue in sharing SBIRS knowledge with the Forest Service was because of the knowledge classification – which the federal government controls – and had nothing to do with proprietary know-how. The House Pressure wholly owns the SBIRS knowledge and controls how and the place it’s shared.  Lockheed Martin doesn’t personal or management this data.

  1. “It’s pricey to fund two separate floor methods, however it was vital as a result of Lockheed Martin owns a lot of the vital know-how and has many years of expertise because the SBIRS prime contractor” 

There are two floor methods for the Subsequent Gen OPIR program, an interim and a goal. SMC required that FORGE and EGS be the everlasting, goal open-architecture floor system for missile warning however couldn’t decide to its readiness earlier than 2025, the launch want date for the primary Subsequent Gen OPIR geosynchronous satellite tv for pc. Lockheed Martin is constructing this primary satellite tv for pc as a part of a “Go Quick” fast acquisition to remain forward of rising threats. In consequence, SMC required an interim floor system, the Subsequent Technology Interim Operations-FORGE (NIO-F). The necessity for these methods weren’t predicated on our vital applied sciences, however as a substitute on the timeline wanted to subject subsequent technology satellites centered on rising threats. The work we’re doing on NIO-F is foundational to FORGE & EGS’ success. 

  1. “’Lockheed Martin has owned the system for greater than 20 years’… SMC is negotiating the switch of mental property and software program supply code to the federal government”

The House Pressure wholly owns and operates each the bottom and area segments of SBIRS, in addition to its knowledge – not Lockheed Martin. Actually, Lockheed Martin is a pioneer for open methods structure and customary interfaces on SBIRS, with the founding of the Tools Applications Processing (TAP) Lab in Boulder and Extremely Environment friendly Mission Integrator (HEMI), which supplies an interface to missile warning knowledge. HEMI and the TAP Lab demonstrated how a Modular, Open-Programs Structure (MOSA) method can assist actual time, low latency missions vital to the House Pressure.

At this time, with the SBIRS 5/6 and Subsequent Gen OPIR GEO area autos we’re designing and manufacturing, we’re actively constructing and contributing to FORGE and EGS with our work on Extremely Elliptical Orbit Migration to EGS & FORGE (HOME), Geosynchronous (GEO) Non-Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment (ITWAA) Ops Migration to EGS (GNOME), and Subsequent Gen OPIR GEO itself. These contracts are essential to the evolution of OPIR knowledge to FORGE and EGS, and so they migrate varied elements inside the OPIR constellation. 

  1. Lockheed Martin obtained two contracts worth $7.8 billion for the event and manufacturing of three geosynchronous Subsequent-Gen OPIR satellites. The House Pressure additionally awarded a $2.Four billion contract to Northrop Grumman for 2 Subsequent-Gen OPIR polar orbit satellites.

This part is deceptive. The $7.eight billion determine cited is a part of two contract choices ($2.9B and $4.9B) that Lockheed Martin was awarded for each the event and manufacturing of the Subsequent Gen OPIR GEO satellites. This can’t be in comparison with Northrop Grumman’s Subsequent-Gen OPIR polar orbit satellite tv for pc contract, which solely covers the spacecraft improvement part.  

Moreover, for Subsequent Gen OPIR GEO, it’s worthwhile noting {that a} area program of this measurement — which incorporates creating two solely new missile warning payloads — has by no means moved this quick. Working in shut partnership with the House and Missile Programs Heart, we stay on monitor to launch the primary area car in 2025. We perceive that Subsequent Gen OPIR is a critically essential program for protection of our nation that gives superior missile warning capabilities with a brand new stage of resiliency that may hold us forward of quickly evolving threats.

To succeed in opposition to our adversaries, we imagine that working collectively – authorities and business — will assist resolve our nation’s hardest challenges. Our management in quite a few consortia demonstrates our dedication to creating and adopting open architectures and knowledge requirements, which permit for the business competitors and integration of “best-of-breed” know-how throughout the area enterprise. 

We gained’t counter our adversary’s threats with out belief and shared dedication to this vital nationwide safety mission. 

Kay Sears is Lockheed Martin’s vp and normal supervisor of navy area

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