The GPS 3 SV03 satellite arrived at Cape Canaveral in Florida from the company’s Colorado-based assembly facility and is set to undergo final qualification tests, fairing encapsulation and propellant loading prior to its integration with a Block 5 variant of the Falcon 9 rocket.
SV03 will be the third satellite to join the Air Force’s GPS 3 constellation and the second to be fielded by SpaceX as part of a contract under the National Security Space Launch initiative.
USAF anticipates the SV04 satellite to fly later in the summer, while Lockheed is currently building and evaluating five other GPS 3 satellites at a Denver-based facility.
In September 2018, Lockheed received a $7.2B follow-on contract from the Air Force for 22 additional GPS 3 satellites. To date, the firm is under contract to manufacture a total of 32 GPS 3 satellites for the service branch.