The U.S. Air Force approved $395 million worth of contract options for Lockheed Martin Corp. (IW500/25) to start production of the ninth and tenth Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellites. The first eight GPS III satellites are under contract and two “vehicles” are in production at Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Processing Facility near Denver.
The new contract provides funding for both long-lead items and full production for the next two space vehicles (SVs) in the USAF’s “next generation” GPS III constellation.
The U.S. Global Positioning System was established in 1995. It is a global network of navigation satellite that provide location and time information anywhere on or near the Earth, for an array of official government, defense, commercial, and consumer uses.
Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract in 2008 to modernize the GPS “satellite constellation,” starting with two new satellites. The OEM claims that its GPS III system will improve positioning, navigation, and timing services, and offer advanced anti-jam capabilities, resulting in superior system security, accuracy and reliability. Lockheed also noted that GPS III’s new L1C civil signal would make it the first GPS satellite that is interoperable with other international, global navigation satellite systems.Read More