"As our world becomes increasingly dependent on GPS technology, the new GPS III satellites will be a critical element of both our national and economic security, and we are committed to achieving mission success for the billions of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide," says Keoki Jackson, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Navigation Systems mission area.
The GPS III program is replacing aging GPS satellites to deliver better accuracy and improved anti-jamming power while enhancing the spacecraft's design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems.
The Air Force initiated a "back-to-basics" acquisition approach for GPS III. The strategy emphasizes early investments in rigorous systems engineering, industry-leading parts standards, and the development of a full-size GPS III satellite prototype to reduce risk, improve production predictability, increase mission assurance and lower overall program costs.
Lockheed Martin is under contract for production of the first four GPS III satellites, and will now begin advanced procurement of long-lead components for the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth satellites.
The Air Force plans to purchase up to 32 GPS III satellites.
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 ITT 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.