Lockheed Martin Congratulates U.S. Air Force on Prestigious GPS Award
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, October 4, 2011 --
Lockheed Martin [NYSE : LMT] today congratulated the U.S Air Force and the Global Positioning System (GPS) community for receiving the International Astronautical Federation's (IAF) 60th Anniversary Award for outstanding achievement in the area of space applications for human benefit.
The prestigious IAF award, presented to the GPS program on October 4 in Cape Town, South Africa, recognizes the program for having the greatest measurable benefit to humanity in the history of space programs. The IAF noted that while there have been numerous scientific and technical achievements spawned from human and robotic spaceflight, satellite communications, weather satellites, remote sensing and more – the GPS program provides the greatest measurable benefits every day to billions of people around the globe.
Like the Internet, GPS is an essential element of the global information infrastructure. GPS technology is found in everything from cell phones and wristwatches to shipping containers, and ATM's. The system boosts productivity across a wide swath of the economy, to include farming, construction, mining, surveying, supply chain management and more. Major communications networks, banking systems, financial markets, and power grids depend on GPS and the technology is embedded in virtually every U.S. military asset making armed forces safer and more effective.
"The far-reaching applications of GPS today extend beyond anyone's imagination when the program was conceived almost 40 years ago. We congratulate the U.S. Air Force and the entire GPS community for their remarkable vision and unrelenting diligence in building and operating a true global utility that improves the welfare of billions around the world every day," said Joe Trench, vice president of Navigation Systems for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "We take great pride in our partnership with the Air Force on its GPS program and we are steadfastly committed to providing even better GPS capabilities in the future."
Lockheed Martin designed and built 21 GPS IIR satellites for the Air Force and subsequently modernized eight of those spacecraft, designated GPS IIR-M, to enhance operations and navigation signal performance. The fleet of Lockheed Martin-built GPS IIR and IIR-M satellites makes up the majority of the operational GPS constellation. The satellites have exceeded 140 cumulative operational years on-orbit with a reliability record of better than 99.9 percent, an unmatched record of exceptional performance and reliability for GPS users around the globe. Lockheed Martin heritage also dates back to the production of the Oscar and Nova satellites, the original navigation programs that paved the way to the current GPS system.
As GPS becomes increasingly vital to modern civilization, the Air Force and Lockheed Martin are developing the next generation system, known as GPS III. GPS III will be a catalyst for profound new applications as it brings on significant capabilities including increased accuracy, availability, anti-jam power, integrity and reliability. The satellites will also add a fourth civil signal that will be interoperable with International Global Navigation Satellite Systems, providing even better precision and increased earth coverage. With first launch in 2014, GPS III is the lowest risk solution to constellation sustainment and the most affordable path to meet the needs of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide.
Learn more about the history and future of GPS at www.lockheedmartin.com/gps
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.