Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin‘s space systems segment, has said the company expects to finish work on the first satellite for the U.S. Air Force’s GPS III program by August, Space News reported Wednesday.
“Having satellites done, and ready to launch is the best way to convince people that we’re up and running,” Ambrose told Space News reporter Mike Gruss in an interview at the Satellite 2016 conference in Maryland Tuesday.
Ambrose’s statement comes two months after Lockheed completed a thermal vacuum test on the first GPS III satellite that the service branch expects to launch by 2017.
He also noted that the company has begun to put the first satellite through electromagnetic interference trials following the thermal vacuum test in January.
Lockheed secured a contract in 2014 to develop eight GPS III satellites with options to produce four more satellites.