GenCorp Aerojet has delivered the last in a 28-year legacy of infrared sensor products for the US Air Force Defense Support Programme (DSP) early warning satellite programme.

The company says at Farnborough that the Sensor 23 delivery to satellite-builder TRW will earn it the final $42 million of the USAF contract that was first awarded in 1970.


The 540kg (1,200lb) DSP geostationary-orbit based satellites detect and report real-time missile and space launches and nuclear detonations and can even locate a jet fighter on afterburner.

The company will focus its DSP work on a post-production support contract worth $264 million through to 2001.

Aerojet will continue its advanced sensor, systems engineering and ground processing work as one of the contractors for the proposed DSP follow-on programme, the Space Based Infrared System, SBIRS.

This will comprise a $13 billion system of four GEO satellites and two in lower elliptical orbits, called SBIRS High, plus a fleet of satellites in low Earth orbit, called SBIRS Low. Aerojet is also a member of the SBIRS Low industry team bidding for the contract.

Source: Flight Daily News