Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force for the third and fourth satellites of the GPS III Constellation. As per the terms of the $238 million-worth contract, Lockheed Martin will develop the two GPS III satellites with maximum efficiency during the manufacturing process.
The GPS III program aims at replacing older Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites to provide advanced capability required by the commercial, civil and military uses throughout the globe. The GPS III satellites will provide enhanced anti-jamming capabilities along with improved accuracy and design life of the spacecraft. Furthermore, a civil signal will also be designed to be interoperable with the international global navigation satellite systems.
The Director of the GPS Directorate, Col Bernie Gruber stated that the GPS is a global gold standard capable of providing reliable, accurate and uninterrupted navigation, timing and positioning services. Col Gruber also added that the GPS III constellation will provide sustainable and affordable solution for providing increased capabilities required to meet future needs of users worldwide.
A contract worth $1.4 billion was awarded to Lockheed Martin in May 2008 for the development and production of the first two GPS III satellites. The GPS III team, for which Lockheed Martin is the primary contractor, will launch the first GPS III satellite in 2014. A total of 32 GPS III satellites will be developed.
The core structure of the first GPS III satellite was received by Lockheed Martin at the Stennis facility and is currently undergoing integration with the flight propulsion subsystem. The core propulsion module is due to be shipped to the GPS Processing Facility in a few months to undergo assembly, integration and final testing to meet the scheduled 2014 launch.