A team led by Northrop Grumman Corp. has received a $220 M, 24-month contract to develop the first phase of the Space-based Radar (SBR) program, which is designed to provide integrated, global, persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), as well as real-time support to US military and intelligence community operations. Northrop Grumman, as one of two competing contractors, and systems integrator, will provide the concept development of ground segment, user segment and operations and support elements. The Boeing Co. is responsible for the design, development and production of the SBR space segment, including launch vehicle integration. Raytheon Co. will provide global mission and system management and support to other ground segment elements. General Dynamics Corp. will provide mission and ground system analysis and mission data processing elements. BAE systems will supply large-scale, information storage and retrieval technologies. The Air Force, in partnership with the National Reconnaissance Office, National Geo-Spatial Agency and Electronic System Center, will provide program leadership at the Joint Program Office, based at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

“Space-based Radar, as the worldwide component of an integrated ISR system, will provide a tremendous capability for our military and intelligence communities,” said Wes Bush, president of Northrop Grumman’s Space Technology sector. “Our SBR team has the right people, the vision and the best mix of industrial capabilities to build and deploy a system that is affordable, sustainable and extraordinarily useful to an extremely wide variety of users.”

The first phase of the program calls for the Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin teams to develop system and software architectures; conduct studies that balance performance, affordability and risk and schedule; evolve a modeling and simulation capability; demonstrate SBR technology maturity; and develop and manage life cycle costs, among others. SBR will substantially increase the amount of ISR available to the military and intelligence community, providing comprehensive, situational awareness. The system’s mission will be to provide worldwide, persistent coverage in three major mission areas: (1) Synthetic Aperture Radar for radar-based imagery; (2) Surface Moving Target Indication for detection, identification, geolocation, and tracking of moving objects near or on the surface of land or water; and (3) High Resolution Terrain Information to a broad array of customers. SBR is unique in its bottoms-up consideration of linkages to other space, air and ground programs, which is envisioned to provide previously unattainable tasking, delivery and assured response from space.