Lockheed Martin-Built GPS Satellite Launched Successfully By The U.S. Air Force
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., 17-NOV-06 -- A U.S. Air Force modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] was launched successfully today from this seaside launch complex aboard a Delta II launch vehicle.
The satellite, designated GPS IIR-16M, is the third in a series of eight Block IIR-M spacecraft that Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems is developing for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The Block IIR-M series includes new features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe.
Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.
We are extremely proud of our ability to deliver mission success for our customer, said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Navigation Systems. The modernized IIR-M program is providing new capabilities for navigation users around the globe and we look forward to executing a timely and efficient on-orbit checkout of this world-class, high-performance spacecraft.
The Global Positioning System enables properly equipped users to determine precise time and velocity and worldwide latitude, longitude and altitude to within a few meters. The second GPS IIR-M spacecraft was launched successfully on Sept. 25 and was declared operational on Oct. 12 by Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2 SOPS) at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., which manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.
In addition to the two IIR-M satellites now on-orbit, the satellite launched today joins 12 other operational Block IIR satellites within the overall 29-spacecraft constellation.
The modernized navigation payloads are being built by ITT in Clifton, N.J. The satellite upgrades along with final assembly, integration and test is being performed at Lockheed Martin facilities in Valley Forge, Pa.
Lockheed Martin is also leading a team in the competition to build the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation Global Positioning System, GPS Block III. The next-generation program will address the challenging military transformational and civil needs across the globe, including advanced anti-jam capabilities and improved system security, accuracy and reliability.
The team, which includes ITT and General Dynamics, recently completed a System Requirements Review and is now working under a $49 million contract to execute a System Design Review in March 2007. A multi-billion dollar development contract is scheduled to be awarded to by the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. in 2007.