Lockheed locks down AF weather satellite deal

The Air Force Space Command, Space and Missile Systems Center has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a nine-year, $47 million support and development contract for its weather satellite receiving stations worldwide.

The Mark IVB is a newly redesigned meteorological data processing and dissemination system capable of supporting military needs beyond 2020. It supplies data to all coalition operations centers, as well as to the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

Meteorological data is obtained from polar orbiting and geostationary satellites operated by the Department of Commerce and foreign meteorological services. Data processed by the Mark IVB system is made available to analysts and forecasters worldwide.

The new system's leading edge technologies can quickly update any satellite changes and feature full backup redundancy. The system also will accommodate significant expansion as new satellites are added to the multinational weather constellation.

"This program is a major component of readiness for the Global Information Grid," said John Mengucci, president of mission and combat support solutions at Lockheed Martin's Information Solutions and Global Services unit. He said the new technology makes it the first weather system to be fully net-centric.

Mark IVB operating sites are located at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; Kadena, Japan; Andersen Air Base, Guam; Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; Lajes, Azores and Sembach Air Base, Germany.

Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., has 140,000 employees and had annual sales of $40 billion in 2006. The company ranks No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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