ROCHESTER, N.Y., 21 March 2012. ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) has been awarded a $32 million contract by Lockheed Martin to build the navigation payloads for the Global Positioning System III (GPS III) space vehicles three and four. Exelis announced in December 2011 that it had integrated and performed the initial power up of the full-size payload prototype known as GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST) Navigation Payload Element.
Exelis was selected along with Lockheed Martin in 2008 by the U.S. Air Force to build the next-generation GPS III program. The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.
Scheduled for first launch in 2014, GPS III satellites will deliver improvements over current GPS space vehicles. The GPS III program will replace aging GPS satellites while improving capability to meet the evolving needs of military, commercial and civilian users. GPS III satellites will deliver greater accuracy and improved anti-jamming power while increasing the spacecraft's design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems.
For more than 37 years, Exelis payloads and payload components have been on board every GPS satellite. They have accumulated more than 500 years of on-orbit life.