REDONDO BEACH, Calif., June 12, 2009 -- The United States Air Force's Defense Support Program Flight 14, built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), is celebrating its 20th year of on-orbit operations. DSP Flight 14 was launched on June 14, 1989 on a Titan IV launch vehicle.
DSP Flight 14 is the first of the current generation of highly reliable DSP satellites. The satellites have demonstrated exceptional reliability, providing an extra 178 years of service on-orbit to date.
"DSP has provided the nation with robust and reliable early warning and auxiliary mission capabilities for nearly 40 years," said Fred Ricker, vice president of Military Systems for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Air Force on this vital asset."
Northrop Grumman built and integrated the DSP spacecraft at its Redondo Beach, Calif. space systems manufacturing facility; the company's facility in Azusa, Calif. built the infrared sensors. Sustainment operations are continuing at both sites.
"The infrared sensor on Flight 14 continues to effectively and reliably support DSP's primary mission of missile warning after 20 years," said Joseph J. Ensor, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Space and ISR Systems Division. "By consistently evolving its mission capabilities and adapting to changing orbital hardware conditions, the Air Force-Northrop Grumman team has successfully extended the constellation's lifetime."
DSP has served the nation continuously since becoming operational in the early 1970s, monitoring the globe and detecting, characterizing and reporting on ballistic missile launches in peacetime and in conflict. Four major upgrades and improvements to the spacecraft, sensor and ground data processing system enabled DSP to adapt to monitor new threats, such as tactical ballistic missiles.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
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