The second Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite has received the “available for launch” designation from the U.S. Air Force and is now expected to lift off in 2019.
Lockheed said Tuesday GPS III Space Vehicle 02 will become part of the service’s next-generation GPS III satellite constellation that will work to deliver anti-jamming capabilities to U.S. and allied forces and offer the new L1C civil signal that aims to build up global connectivity for civilian and commercial users.
“With two GPS III satellites now ready for launch, and the third GPS III expected to be ready by early next year, we’re building strong momentum,” said Johnathon Caldwell, program manager for navigation systems at Lockheed.
Caldwell noted that GPS III SV01, which secured the “available for launch” status in September 2017, is set to be delivered to Cape Canaveral in Florida in preparation for its launch this year.
The announcement came four months after Lockheed submitted a bid to compete for the Air Force’s GPS III Follow On satellite development program.
The company is under contract with the service to build 10 GPS III satellites and is now full-production phase at its facility near Denver.
GPS III SV03 concluded the thermal vacuum testing stage in June, while GPS III SV04 is set to begin environmental testing following the integration of the antenna deck in May.