Lockheed Martin has delivered its proposal to the U.S. Air Force to compete for the service’s GPS III Follow On satellite development program.
The company said Tuesday the GPS IIIF program aims to develop up to 22 next-generation GPS satellites designed to build up anti-jamming capabilities.
Lockheed said its proposed GPS III platform will have a digital navigation payload, a laser retro-reflector array for satellite positioning, a payload to support search-and-rescue missions and a regional military protection capability.
Johnathon Caldwell, program manager for Lockheed’s navigation systems mission area, said the company’s proposed GPS IIIF system is based on a design that works with the service’s existing GPS constellation and Operational Control System.
Lockheed is in full-production phase on the first 10 GPS III satellites under a previously awarded contract with the Air Force.
The company received the “available for launch” status for the GPS III Space Vehicle 01 satellite in 2017 and is now conducting the final environmental test of the GPS III SV02.
The third GPS III satellite has recently entered the thermal vacuum testing phase, while the GPS III SV04 completed integration in preparation for environmental testing in summer 2018.
Lockheed has begun the final build-up phase on the service’s fifth GPS satellite and initial development work on GPS III SV06 with plans to commence GPS III SV07 production by spring.