Lockheed Martin has wrapped up integration work on the third GPS III satellite the company built for the U.S. Air Force through its processing facility in Denver, Colorado.
Lockheed technicians finished the integration of the propulsion core, navigation payload, system module and other major components into the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 on Aug. 14 in preparation for the environmental testing phase, the company said Monday.
The company completed thermal vacuum tests on GPS III SV02 in August and is set to hand over the satellite to the service branch in 2018.
Lockheed has begun payload integration work on the fourth GPS satellite and expects to deliver the space vehicle in January.
The service branch’s fifth GPS III satellite also entered the assembly phase in August.
GPS III SV03 will operate as part of the Air Force’s next generation of GPS satellites designed to provide anti-jamming capabilities and broadcast the new L1C civil signal that aims to deliver greater connectivity to commercial and civilian users.
The completion of GPS III SV03’s integration came a month after the Air Force declared the first Lockheed-built GPS III satellite “available for launch” in 2018.
Lockheed is contracted to manufacture 10 GPS III satellites for the military branch and is now in full-production phase on those spacecraft through its Denver facility.