Air Force Gears up to Launch GPS III Satellites


The U.S. Air Force is working to ensure a smooth and successful deployment of its GPS III satellites, which are scheduled to launch in 2014.

The Air Force has selected Lockheed Martin to provide a launch and checkout capability to control all GPS III satellites throughout launch and early on-orbit testing under a $21.5 million contract.

The GPS III system is scheduled to replace older GPS satellites while improving the military’s communication capability.

Lockheed’s LCC will be integrated with the Raytheon-developed Next Generation Operational Control System, ensuring launch ability for the first GPS III satellite, according to the company announcement. 

According to Raytheon’s website, the GPS OCX is its newest satellite control system, which is equipped with anti-jamming technologies and improved predictive algorithms.

“The launch and checkout capability will ensure we can launch in 2014, effectively closing the time gap between GPS III and the Next Generation Operational Control System,” said Col. Bernard Gruber, director of the Air Force’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate.

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