The U.S. Air Force Space Command has extended the contract with BAE Systems to maintain its strategic space radars used for missile warning and space surveillance operations by three years.
The award is a continuation of work that BAE Systems has been performing for the program since 2007, and raises the cumulative value of the contract to approximately $540 million. Space Command's Solid State Phased Array Radar System (SSPARS) is a complex network of radars that tracks more than 16,000 objects orbiting Earth.
The radar system detects and identifies various man-made objects in space, such as active or inactive satellites, rocket parts, and other debris. The system also tracks objects that may enter the atmosphere — information that is vital to air missile defense operations and to protecting against submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
SSPARS is capable of conducting about 40,000 space observations daily. System locations include Cape Cod Air Force Station in Massachusetts, Beale Air Force Base in California, Clear Air Force Station in Alaska, Thule Air Base in Greenland, and the Royal Air Force Fylingdales in the United Kingdom.