Lockheed Martin is building the GPS III satellites for the Air Force. (Lockheed Martin)
The Air Force has awarded more than $245 million in contract options to Lockheed Martin to complete work on two more global positioning system satellites, known as GPS III.
The satellites will be the seventh and eighth in a series. They received initial funding under a 2013 contract that covered the Air Force’s second set of four satellites.
In December 2013, Lockheed Martin powered on the SV-02 satellite bus and network communications equipment payload for the first time. The successful power-on test leads the way for electrical and integrated hardware-software testing. SV-01, which powered on in February 2013, now is in integration and test flow leading up to final delivery to the Air Force.
“With eight GPS III satellites now fully under contract, the GPS III program is moving from development into recurring production,” said Mark Stewart, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area. “We continue to build on the lessons learned from development and this contract demonstrates the Air Force’s confidence in and continued need for the GPS III satellite.”
The program is enabling the Air Force to replace aging GPS satellites while delivering a much greater range of capabilities for the military, according to Lockheed Martin. Improvements include greater accuracy, significantly improved anti-jamming capabilities and a longer life span in orbit.