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L3Harris contracted for GPS III Follow-On payloads

February 23, 2021  - By
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GPS IIIF’s M-Code can be broadcast from a high-gain directional antenna in a concentrated, high-powered spot beam, in addition to a wide-angle, full-Earth antenna. (Artist rendering: Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for GPS III/IIIF, selected L3Harris in 2018 to design and build the first two fully-digital MDUs, the heart of the satellite’s navigation payload. (Artist rendering: Lockheed Martin)

L3Harris Technologies has received contracts totaling $137 million for four navigation payload Mission Data Units (MDU) for future GPS III Follow-On (GPS IIIF) satellites.

Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for GPS III/IIIF, selected L3Harris in 2018 to design and build the first two fully-digital MDUs, the heart of the satellite’s navigation payload. The MDU generates more powerful GPS signals and assures clock operations for GPS users, L3Harris said.

“The digital MDU is flexible enough to adapt to advances in GPS technology and future changes in mission needs,” said Ed Zoiss, president, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. “The new MDU will also support a smooth transition for the U.S. Space Force’s GPS OCX ground control segment.”

The U.S. Space Force expects the first GPS IIIF satellite, which builds on GPS III adding new capabilities and technology, to be available for launch in 2026. According to L3Harris, the GPS IIIF MDU will provide improved capabilities over L3Harris’ 70-percent-digital MDU on the first ten GPS III satellites. The first four GPS III satellites have successfully launched and are now operational in the GPS constellation.

L3Harris Technologies is a global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains.

About the Author:


Allison Kral is the digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Pit & Quarry magazine, Portable Plants magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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