The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin more than US$200-million in contract options to complete production of its fifth and sixth next-generation Global Positioning System satellites, known as GPS III .
Lockheed Martin explain that the GPS III improves capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users. GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy; provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities; and include enhancements which extend spacecraft life 25 percent further than the prior GPS block. It will be the first GPS satellite with a new L1C civil signal designed to make it interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems.
“Lockheed Martin’s GPS III program has a rigorous testing plan and mission success focus aligned with the Air Force’s back-to-basics approach, and is specifically designed to enable predictable and affordable recurring production through disciplined development and early risk reduction,” said Mark Stewart, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area.
The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the GPS III prime contractor with teammates Exelis, General Dynamics, Infinity Systems Engineering, Honeywell, ATK and other subcontractors.
Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.