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Lockheed gets U.S. Air Force contract for 22 more GPS IIIs

September 17, 2018  - By

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $7.2 billion contract to build 22 more GPS III satellites.

Like the first batch of 10 GPS III satellites, the GPS III Follow-On (GPS IIIF) satellites “will provide greater accuracy, and improved anti-jamming capabilities, making them more resilient,” said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson in a statement.

The satellites will be built at the company’s Waterton campus in the Denver suburb of Littleton.

Under a previous contract, Lockheed is in the process of building 10 GPS III satellites, the first of which is slated to launch in December. The first GPS IIIF satellite could be ready for launch in 2026.

GPS III SV01 on Aug. 20 boards a U.S. Air Force C-17 for its flight to Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

GPS III SV01 on Aug. 20 boards a U.S. Air Force C-17 for its flight to Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

“We’re grateful for the U.S. Air Force’s continued confidence in Lockheed Martin on the GPS III/IIIF program,” said Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s program manager for Navigation Systems. “We’ve worked hard to develop and produce GPS III to help the Air Force modernize the GPS constellation with new, more powerful, and more resilient, technology.

“This new contract for GPS IIIF will bring GPS to a whole new level. It takes full advantage of our flexible satellite design to incorporate additional new technology like a 100% digital navigation payload, Regional Military Protection and new search-and-rescue payloads into the constellation. We are proud to be bringing these new capabilities to our warfighters and the world.”

Both Boeing and Northrop Grumman declined to bid on the contract, leaving Lockheed Martin the lone provider.

About the Author:

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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