U.S. Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin Contract for Third and Fourth GPS III Satellites

NEWTOWN, Pa, Jan­u­ary 12th, 2012 — The U.S. Air Force has award­ed Lock­heed Mar­tin [NYSE: LMT] a $238 mil­lion con­tract for pro­duc­tion of the third and fourth satel­lites in the next-gen­er­a­tion Glob­al Posi­tion­ing Sys­tem (GPS) con­stel­la­tion, known as GPS III

The acqui­si­tion of the next two GPS III satel­lites at one time will allow the Lock­heed Mar­tin-led team to max­i­mize effi­cien­cies in satel­lite manufacturing.

The GPS III pro­gram will afford­ably replace aging GPS satel­lites while improv­ing capa­bil­i­ty to meet the evolv­ing needs of mil­i­tary, com­mer­cial and civil­ian users world­wide. GPS III satel­lites will deliv­er bet­ter accu­ra­cy and improved anti-jam­ming pow­er while enhanc­ing the spacecraft’s design life and adding a new civ­il sig­nal designed to be inter­op­er­a­ble with inter­na­tion­al glob­al nav­i­ga­tion satel­lite systems.

GPS is a glob­al gold stan­dard, pro­vid­ing accu­rate, reli­able, con­tin­u­ous, free world­wide posi­tion­ing, nav­i­ga­tion and tim­ing (PNT) ser­vices,” said Col Bernie Gru­ber, direc­tor of the U.S. Air Force’s Glob­al Posi­tion­ing Sys­tems Direc­torate. “And we are focused on deliv­er­ing world-class space-based PNT capa­bil­i­ties to our users around the world. As the need for more capa­bil­i­ty increas­es, GPS III will allow us to afford­ably sus­tain and mod­ern­ize the con­stel­la­tion by pro­vid­ing increased capa­bil­i­ties incre­men­tal­ly to bet­ter meet cur­rent and future needs.”

In May 2008, the Air Force award­ed Lock­heed Mar­tin an ini­tial con­tract to design, devel­op and build the first two GPS III satel­lites. The con­tract also includes options for up to 10 addi­tion­al space­craft. With the most recent award, the GPS III team is now on con­tract to deliv­er four GPS III space vehi­cles, with the first launch sched­uled in 2014. The Air Force has plans to build up to 32 GPS III satellites.

“The gov­ern­ment has mapped an extreme­ly sen­si­ble acqui­si­tion strat­e­gy for GPS III and we are focus­ing on exe­cut­ing the pro­gram to deliv­er these much need­ed capa­bil­i­ties to bil­lions of users around the word,” said Mark Vale­rio, vice pres­i­dent and gen­er­al man­ag­er of Lock­heed Martin’s Sur­veil­lance and Nav­i­ga­tion Sys­tems line of busi­ness. “As we pro­duce more GPS III satel­lites, we aim to con­tin­u­al­ly reduce the cost and cycle time of each space vehi­cle to ensure we deliv­er the great­est val­ue to the Air Force.”

The GPS III pro­gram con­tin­ues to achieve major mile­stones and the first space vehi­cle is pro­gress­ing on sched­ule. Lock­heed Mar­tin received the core struc­ture for the first GPS III satel­lite at its Sten­nis, Miss., facil­i­ty in August, and is now inte­grat­ing the space vehicle’s flight propul­sion sub­sys­tem. The inte­grat­ed core propul­sion mod­ule will be shipped to Lock­heed Martin’s GPS Pro­cess­ing Facil­i­ty (GPF) in the sum­mer of 2012 and will then under­go final assem­bly, inte­gra­tion and test in order to meet its planned 2014 launch.

For GPS III, Lock­heed Mar­tin is build­ing on its proven record of deliv­er­ing high­ly reli­able GPS space­craft. 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. Lock­heed Mar­tin her­itage pro­grams date back to the pro­duc­tion of the Oscar and Nova satel­lites, the pro­grams that paved the way to the cur­rent GPS system.

The GPS III team is led by the Glob­al Posi­tion­ing Sys­tems Direc­torate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Mis­sile Sys­tems Cen­ter. Lock­heed Mar­tin is the GPS III prime con­trac­tor with team­mates ITT Exelis, Gen­er­al Dynam­ics, Infin­i­ty Sys­tems Engi­neer­ing, Hon­ey­well, ATK and oth­er sub­con­trac­tors. 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.

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. 

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