Lockheed Eyes On-Orbit Re-Programmability for Air Force GPS III Satellites

GPS-IIILockheed Martin will work to provide an on-orbit re-programmability feature for the U.S. Air Force‘s future global positioning system satellites in response to changing requirements.

The company will seek to demonstrate this feature of the GPS III system over the next two years under the Air Force’s GPS III Space Vehicles 11+ Production Readiness Feasibility Assessment contract, Lockheed said Thursday.

Lockheed was one of three companies awarded $5 million contracts for phase 1 of the GPS III procurement program.

Mark Stewart, Lockheed vice president for navigation systems, said the company’s GPS III design will include a fully-digital navigation payload and work to facilitate mission flexibility for the Air Force.

Lockheed noted that the GPS III satellites will also have a modular design, added anti-jamming functions and Regional Military Protection systems.

The first GPS III satellite completed system-level thermal vacuum testing in December and seven more GPS III units will follow in the production process, the company added.

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s GPS directorate leads the GPS III team.

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