Lockheed Martin Completes 5th Modernized GPS Satellite
FARNBOROUGH, England, 18-JUL-06 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] announced today that it has completed the fifth in a series of eight modernized Global Positioning System (GPS) IIR satellites that the company is developing for the U.S. Air Force. The spacecraft are the most technologically advanced GPS satellites ever developed and will provide significantly improved navigation performance for U.S. military and civilian users worldwide.
The modernized program, known as GPS IIR-M, is being performed at Lockheed Martin's facilities in Valley Forge, Pa., and ITT Industries in Clifton, N.J. The spacecraft offer a variety of enhanced features for GPS users, such as two new signals and enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, as well as a second civil signal, thus providing military and civilian users with greatly improved navigation capabilities.
We're proud to have completed work on the fifth GPS IIR-M spacecraft, said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Navigation Systems. The success of this modernization program is direct testimony to the strong partnership forged between Lockheed Martin and the Air Force to tackle the important objective of providing state-of-the-art navigation services for the U.S. military and civilian users across the globe.
Completed satellites are delivered to storage and become available for launch when requested by the Air Force. The team is now preparing for the second IIR-M mission scheduled for launch on Sept. 14, 2006 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Designated GPS IIR-15(M) the satellite will join the first modernized IIR satellite declared operational for GPS users last year and 12 other operational Block IIR satellites currently on-orbit within the overall 29-spacecraft constellation.
GPS provides such essential services as situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military. It is also an information resource supporting a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions – from air traffic control to the Internet – with precision location and timing information.
Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.
Lockheed Martin is also leading a team competing to build the next-generation Global Positioning System, known as GPS Block III. The new program will address the challenging military transformational and civil needs across the globe, including advanced anti-jam capabilities, improved system security and accuracy, and reliability. GPS Block III will enhance space-based navigation and performance and set a new world standard for positioning and timing services.