MOORESTOWN, N.J. (AP) — Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $107 million contract to continue work on space-surveillance systems for the U.S. Air Force.
The defense contractor said Monday the deal is a follow-on contract for the next phase of Air Force's "Space Fence" program, which includes manned and unmanned space operations. The system is used to detect floating space debris that can damage satellites.
Under the 18-month contract, Lockheed Martin will develop and test a ground-based radar system design in preparation for a final production contract next year. The Space Fence system will replace the existing Air Force Space Surveillance System, which has been in service since the early 1960s.
The newer system will have higher wave frequency radar that can detect much smaller microsatellites and debris. The new system will field two or three high-power ground-based radars that will be located at strategic sites around the world, expand surveillance coverage into the Southern hemisphere.
In June 2009, Lockheed Martin was one of three industry teams awarded a $30 million contract to begin concept development for Space Fence.
Shares of Lockheed rose 88 cents to $81.59 during afternoon trading.