On Tuesday, the Department of Defense announced that it has awarded Lockheed Martin's (NYSE: LMT ) Space Systems subsidiary a $58.4 million contract modification related to the "Space Based Infrared Systems Follow-on Production Program." Work on this contract is expected to be complete by April 28, 2016, but this money is only appropriated for fiscal 2013 -- suggesting further awards could follow in subsequent years.
Space Based Infrared Systems, better known as SBIRS, is the military's next-generation missile early warning system -- but it supports three additional missions as well: missile defense, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence. It consists of infrared sensors mounted on satellites, in communications with ground control stations on Earth.
Primary contractors working on the program include both Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC ) .