SECOND MODERNIZED GPS SATELLITE BUILT BY LOCKHEED MARTIN BEGINS SERVICE FOR USERS WORLDWIDE
DENVER, Colo., 25-OCT-06 -- The second modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has been declared fully operational for military and civilian navigation users around the globe. This milestone is the culmination of a successful on-orbit deployment and check- out phase that allowed the spacecraft to begin service ahead of the planned schedule.
Launched last month from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. the GPS Block IIR-15(M) is the second in a series of eight Block IIR-M spacecraft that Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems is developing for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The third GPS Block IIR-M satellite is scheduled for liftoff on Nov. 14 from Cape Canaveral.
Each IIR-M spacecraft includes a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.
This milestone is the result of our team's focus on achieving mission success for our customer, said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Navigation Systems.
We understand how vitally important GPS is to both military and civilian users around the world and we look forward to providing significantly improved navigation capabilities with the modernized IIR-M program.
The Global Positioning System enables properly equipped users to determine precise time and velocity and worldwide latitude, longitude and altitude to within a few meters. The satellite was declared operational on Oct. 12 by Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2 SOPS) at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., which manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.
The spacecraft are the most technologically advanced GPS satellites ever developed and are designed to provide significantly improved navigation performance for U.S. military and civilian users worldwide. The satellite joins the first modernized IIR satellite, GPS IIR-14(M), successfully launched and declared operational last year and 12 other operational Block IIR satellites currently on-orbit within the overall 29-spacecraft constellation.
The modernized navigation payloads are being built by ITT in Clifton, N.J. The satellite upgrades along with final assembly, integration and test is being performed at Lockheed Martin facilities in Valley Forge, Pa.