The first GPS III satellite that Lockheed Martin built for the U.S. Air Force is ready to lift off in 2018 after the space vehicle received the “available for launch“ designation from the service branch.
Lockheed said Tuesday it now awaits the Air Force’s green light to start pre-launch preparations for the GPS III SV01 satellite.
GPS III SV01 is 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.
Mark Stewart, vice president of Lockheed's navigation systems mission area, said GPS III has a modular design to facilitate the introduction into the production line of new technologies.
Stewart added the company is proud to work with the military branch on the Back to Basics program and expects to launch the first GPS III satellite next year.
Lockheed is contracted to manufacture 10 GPS III satellites for the service and is now in full-production phase on those spacecraft at its facility near Denver, Colorado.