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GPS Status Updates

November 21, 2013
Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Prototype Proves It Can Successfully Communicate With GPS Satellite Constellation

The Lockheed Martin prototype of the next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite, the GPS III, recently proved it was backward-compatible with the existing GPS satellite constellation in orbit. Full Article

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September 23, 2013
Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Prototype Successfully Integrated With Raytheon OCX Ground Control Segment

The prototype for Lockheed Martin’s next generation GPS III satellite reached a major milestone on August 30 when it successfully established remote connectivity and communicated with the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX), being developed by Raytheon [NYSE: RTN], during a series of pre-flight tests. Full Article

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July 22, 2013
Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Prototype To Help Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Prep For Launch

Lockheed Martin recently delivered a full-sized, functional prototype of the next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to test facilities and pre-launch processes in advance of the arrival of the first GPS III flight satellite.  Full Article

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July 15, 2013
Lockheed Martin Delivers Antenna Assemblies For Integration On First GPS III Satellite

Lockheed Martin has completed and is preparing to install the navigation, communication, and hosted payload antenna assemblies for the first satellite of the next generation Global Positioning System, known as GPS IIIFull Article

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July 10, 2013
Lockheed Martin GPS III Prototype Validates Test Facilities For Future Flight Satellites

Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST) has successfully completed a series of high-fidelity pathfinding events which validate the process and facility for vehicle integration checkout, as well as signals interference testing, that the next-generation satellites of the Global Positioning System, known as GPS III, will go through prior to delivery for launch. Full Article

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June 5, 2013
Lockheed Martin Completes Functional Testing of First GPS III Satellite Bus Electronic Systems

A Lockheed Martin-led industry team has completed successful functional integration tests of the spacecraft bus and network communications equipment on the first satellite of the next generation Global Positioning System, known as GPS III. Full Article

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February 6, 2013
Lockheed Martin Completes Major GPS III Flight Software Milestone

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Position System III satellites has completed a key flight software milestone validating the software’s ability to provide reliable and effective command and control for the GPS III satellites planned for launch into orbit. Full Article

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November 19, 2012
Lockheed Martin Completes Critical Environmental Test on GPS III Pathfinder

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System III  satellites has completed thermal vacuum testing for the Navigation Payload Element (NPE) of the GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST). The milestone is one of several environmental tests verifying the navigation payload’s quality of workmanship and increased performance compared to the current generation of satellites. Full Article

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October 4, 2012
ITT Exelis completes key milestone for next-generation GPS III satellite constellation

​ITT Exelis has passed a major milestone for the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System III (GPS III) program. The company has successfully completed acceptance testing of the navigation payload element for the GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST), and shipped the pathfinder unit to prime contractor Lockheed Martin’s facility near Denver, Colo., for thermal vacuum testing and space vehicle integration. Learn more

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September 24, 2012
Lockheed Martin Delivers Propulsion Core for the First GPS III Satellite

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System III satellites has delivered the first spacecraft’s propulsion core module to the company’s Denver-area GPS Processing Facility (GPF). The milestone represents the program’s first major hardware delivery for GPS III Space Vehicle 1 and highlights the satellite’s initial Assembly, Integration and Test activities in the GPF. Full Article

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September 5, 2012
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Complete First Launch Exercise for Next Generation GPS

Raytheon Company [NYSE: RTN] and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] have successfully completed the first launch readiness exercise for the U.S. Air Force’s next generation GPS III satellites. The exercise is a key milestone demonstrating the team remains on schedule to achieve launch availability in 2014. Full Article

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May 31, 2012
U.S. Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin GPS III Flight Operations Contract

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $68 million contract to provide mission readiness, launch,  early orbit checkout and on-orbit operations engineering support for the first two GPS III space vehicles. The first and second GPS III satellites are on schedule for launch availability in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Full Article

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May 29, 2012
Lockheed Martin Completes Navigation Payload Milestone For GPS III Prototype

The Lockheed Martin team developing the next generation Global Positioning System III satellites has completed a major integration and test event on the program’s satellite pathfinder, known as the GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST). The milestone is a key indication that the GPS III team is on track to deliver the first satellite for launch availability in 2014. Full Article

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April 16, 2012
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Complete Major GPS Integration Milestone

Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin have successfully completed the first significant integration milestone between Raytheon’s Global Positioning System (GPS) Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) and Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellite system. Full Article

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March 20, 2012
ITT Exelis Awarded Contract to Build Payloads for the Next-Generation GPS III Satellite Constellation

ITT Exelis has been awarded a $32 million contract by Lockheed Martin to build the navigation payloads for the Global Positioning System III (GPS III) space vehicles three and four. Exelis announced in December 2011 that it had successfully integrated and performed the initial power up of the full-size payload prototype known as GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST) Navigation Payload Element. Full News Release

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February 21, 2012
GPS Facility Opens for Production

Lockheed Martin has officially opened its new GPS III Processing Facility (GPF) specifically designed to reduce the cost of building each GPS III satellite. On Tuesday, February 21, the company hosted nearly 200 guests for the facility’s open house event, which included speeches from Colorado Congressmen Rep. Mike Coffman, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, as well as senior U.S. Air Force officials. Full Article

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January 12, 2012
U.S. Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin Contract for Third And Fourth GPS III Satellites

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin 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. Full article

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January 11, 2012
U.S. Air Force Awards Contract to Lockheed Martin For GPS III Launch And Checkout Capability

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $21.5 million contract to provide a Launch and Checkout Capability (LCC) to command and control all GPS III satellites from launch through early on-orbit testing. The LCC, which will be integrated into the Raytheon-developed Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX), will ensure launch availability for the first GPS III satellite in 2014. The LCC includes trained satellite operators and engineering solutions in partnership with OCX to support launch, early orbit operations and checkout of all GPS III satellites before the spacecraft are turned over to Air Force Space Command for operations. Full Article

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December 22, 2011
ITT Exelis Successfully ‘Powers Up’ Next-generation GPS III Navigation Payload Element Development Model

ITT Exelis passed a key U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System III (GPS III) program milestone. The company has successfully integrated and performed the initial power up of the GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST) Navigation Payload Element (NPE), or full-size payload prototype. Full Article

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December 13, 2011
Lockheed Martin Delivers GPS III Pathfinder Satellite to Denver on Schedule
New GPS Satellite Factory Opens for Business

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System has delivered the program’s pathfinder spacecraft to the company’s Denver-area facility. The pathfinder, known as the GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST), will now undergo final assembly, integration and test activities in a new facility designed to maximize efficiencies and reduce costs of satellite production. Full Article

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October 25, 2011
General Dynamics Successfully Completes Major GPS III Milestone

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems successfully completed the Software Item Qualification Test (SIQT) of its Thin Communications Unit (TCU) flight software for the U.S Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) III program. The TCU flight software was rated compliant with more than 300 performance requirements and meets the new rigorous mission-assurance standards developed by the Air Force for the GPS III program. General Dynamics is a major subcontractor to Lockheed Martin, the GPS III prime contractor. The flight software is a critical component of the TCU that supports the automation of onboard spacecraft communications. The TCU provides the communications interface between the GPS III spacecraft bus, network communications and navigation elements. As part of the low-risk development plan for GPS III, Lockheed Martin began space-vehicle level integration with the fully qualified software more than 30 months ahead of the first scheduled GPS III launch. Full Article

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Air Force Academy Dedicates New GPS III Model
October 16, 2011

Lockheed Martin and the Air Force Academy dedicated a ½ scale model of the GPS III satellite October 16 in the Academy’s Falcon Ice Arena. The GPS III model will serve as a constant reminder of the important role GPS plays in the Air Force mission. Below the model is a plaque with the following text:

Thanks to the U.S. Air Force – the Global Positioning System is improving productivity and safety in almost every aspect of society. GPS is critical to U.S. national security and the technology is integrated into virtually every facet of U.S. military operations – allowing our armed forces to operate with precision and safety when and where it matters most. Like the internet, GPS has also become indispensible to the global information infrastructure. GPS applications support a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions - from car navigation to cultivation, from ATMs to air traffic control, and from disaster relief to emergency services.

As GPS becomes increasingly vital to our way of life, U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin are developing the next generation system, known as GPS III. With GPS III, there is a bright future ahead. Bringing on significant new capabilities, GPS III will be a catalyst for profound new applications, military operations will become safer and more secure, and the United States will continue to lead the evolution of navigation and timing for generations to come.

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October 10, 2011
Lockheed Martin Powers on the GPS III Pathfinder

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System has turned on initial power to the program’s pathfinder spacecraft, known as the GPS III Non Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST). The milestone gives the team high confidence in meeting the scheduled launch of the first GPS III satellite in 2014. Full News Release

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October 4, 2011
Lockheed Martin Congratulates U.S. Air Force on Prestigious GPS Award

Lockheed Martin 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. Full News Release : Read Air Force News

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September 19, 2011
ATK Delivers First Satellite Structures and Tanks for Air Force GPS III Satellites

ATK delivered the first two A2100 composite satellite structures and the first ship set of propellant tanks for the GPS III satellites Lockheed Martin is building for the U.S. Air Force. This is the first major hardware delivery milestone in the program. The GPS III structure, made from lightweight, high-strength composite materials, and the propellant tanks were delivered to Lockheed Martin's Mississippi Space & Technology Center, an advanced propulsion, thermal, and metrology facility located at the John C. Stennis Space Center, for integration and testing. Full News Release

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September 12, 2011
Senator Casey (D-PA) Pushes for GPS Program to Support National Security and Jobs in Bucks County

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) toured Lockheed Martin Space Systems and met with employees to pledge continued support to protect jobs at the facility. In a letter sent today to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Casey pushed appropriators to support the Air Force Global Positioning Satellite III program, which is strongly supported by the U.S. Air Force and will help to retain approximately 300 jobs at the Newtown facility. “There are few capabilities as important to our military and the U.S. economy as GPS,” wrote Senator Casey. “Given the strong track record of the GPS III program and the system’s importance to our military forces and the nation’s economic competitiveness, GPS III is a solid and wise investment in our military and the nation’s future.” Read Full Press Release

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August 29, 2011
Lockheed Martin Receives Antennas for First Two GPS III Satellites

Astro Aerospace, a strategic business unit of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), has delivered 16 self-deploying, monopole JIB antennas for the first two next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS III) satellites. GPS III satellites are currently under development by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin in Newtown, Pa. The first GPS III is scheduled to join the on-orbit constellation in 2014. With an adaptable design configuration, JIBs can be tailored to specific applications; they are available in monopole diameters from one-half-inch to one and three-eight inches and any length up to 25 feet. Each antenna stows into a very compact four-inch by four-inch by two-and-a-half-inch canister. Full News Release

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March 15, 2011
Lockheed Martin GPS IIII Team Completes Key Flight Software Milestone

The Lockheed Martin-led team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Position System, known as GPS III, has successfully completed the program’s first major flight software integration milestone at the company’s software integration laboratory in Newtown, Pa. The successful test demonstrated the ability to communicate between the GPS III satellite bus, network communications and navigation elements, and is a key step in reducing risk for the program’s flight software development. Read full news release

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February 15, 2011
Lockheed Martin-Built GPS Satellite Exceeds 10 Years On-Orbit

The seventh Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-7/SVN-54) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has reached 10 years of successful on-orbit operations, and continues to deliver critical position, navigation and timing (PNT) signals to nearly one billion GPS users worldwide. The satellite, launched on January 30, 2001 and declared operational on February 15, 2001, is one of 31 GPS spacecraft currently on-orbit providing vital situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military, and supporting a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions. Full News Release

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December 28, 2010
Successful Annual GPS Enterprise Review

The Global Positioning Systems Directorate achieved major milestones in developing and deploying modernized GPS capabilities, Dec. 17. Col. Bernard Gruber, GPS program director at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, led his team through the second Annual GPS Enterprise Review, a Defense Acquisition Board review chaired by deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and attended by other senior Department of Defense officials. The purpose of the AGER is to eliminate individual DAB reviews for the various GPS satellite, ground station and user equipment programs, thus streamlining the acquisition decision process. This year, the AGER focused on major acquisition milestones for each of the GPS Enterprise's three segments - Milestone C for the GPS Block IIIA space vehicle program, Milestone B for the Next-Generation Operational Control Segment program and Milestone A for the Modernized GPS User Equipment program.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the GPS Directorate team and staff agencies, GPS IIIA received Milestone C approval, as well as authorization to initiate long-lead parts procurement for the first two production satellites. Full News Release

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November 8, 2010
Lockheed Martin Delivers Key GPS III Test Hardware Ahead of Schedule

The Lockheed Martin-led team developing the next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS III) has completed the program’s first contract deliverable ahead of schedule, by shipping the GPS III Bus Real Time Simulator (BRTS) from its Newtown, Pa., facility to Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif., on September 10, 2010. Acceptance testing for the BRTS was completed seven days after delivery. The BRTS is a specialized piece of test equipment designed to reduce risk and ensure total mission success for the lifecycle of the GPS III program. Full News Release

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August 20, 2010
U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin Team Complete GPS III Design Phase Ahead of Schedule

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System, known as GPS III, has successfully completed the program’s Critical Design Review (CDR) phase two months ahead of the baseline schedule. CDR completion, the program’s most significant milestone to-date, validates the detailed GPS III design to ensure it meets warfighter and civil requirements, and allows the program to begin the production phase. Full News Release

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July 1, 2010
Lockheed Martin Opens Expansion of Newtown, Pa Facility

Lockheed Martin today opened the doors to new facilities at its Space Systems Company operations in Newtown, Pa. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies with community leaders and customers were conducted today for the $24 million expansion project which includes an addition to the facility’s manufacturing capabilities as well as a conference center. The 18,800-square-foot high bay addition at the west end of the facility’s Product Team Building expands Lockheed Martin’s satellite manufacturing capability, housing a near-field antenna range and antenna assembly clean room for manufacturing of Global Positioning System (GPS) components, and a passive inter-modulation chamber to test the frequency bands of all components produced in Newtown. Full News Release