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USAF space surveillance system nearing end

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) — Air Force Space Command is telling the 21st Space Wing to prepare to end operations of the aging Air Force Space Surveillance System by Oct. 1 due to budget cuts.

Officials said Monday that equipment won’t be removed until decisions on fiscal 2014 budget issues are final, but deactivating the system by Oct. 1 would lead to cost savings of about $14 million a year.

The system has transmitter sites at Jordan Lake, Ala.; Lake Kickapoo, Texas; and Gila River, Ariz., plus receivers at Hawkinsville, Ga.; Red River, Ark.; Elephant Butte; and San Diego.

The Colorado Springs-based contractor operating the sites, Five Rivers Services, declined to comment.

The Air Force says it will track space objects using other systems. Development on a new space surveillance system is under way.

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