Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lockheed Martin Wins $1.4 Billion Contract to Build GPS III Space System

The U.S. Air Force selected a team led by Lockheed Martin to build the next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) Space System program. GPS III promises improved position, navigation, and timing services for both military and civilian users worldwide. The system is also being developed to provide advanced anti-jam capabilities, yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability.

Under the $1.4 billion Development and Production contract, the team of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, ITT Corporation, and General Dynamics, will produce eight GPS IIIA satellites, with first launch projected for 2014. Eight GPS IIIB and 16 GPS IIIC satellites are planned for later increments, with each increment including additional capabilities based on technical maturity.

When fully deployed, the GPS III constellation will feature a cross-linked command and control architecture, allowing the entire GPS constellation to be updated simultaneously from a single ground station. Additionally, a new spot beam capability for enhanced military (M-Code) coverage and increased resistance to hostile jamming will be incorporated.

Lockheed Martin said its GPS III program management and spacecraft development effort will occur at its facilities in Newtown, Pa, with final assembly, integration and test located in Denver. The company's Sunnyvale, California operations will provide various spacecraft components and a launch support team will be based at Cape Canaveral, Fla. Lockheed Martin's flight-proven A2100 bus will serve as the GPS III spacecraft platform.

ITT will provide the navigation payload, and General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems will provide the Network Communications Element (NCE) which includes the UHF Crosslink and Tracking Telemetry & Command (TT&C) subsystems.

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