- Press Release
- Feb 6, 2023
Air Force Successfully Launches Lockheed Martin-Built Global Positioning System Satellite
Positioning System (GPS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air
Force, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral. This was the
seventh successful launch of the new-generation spacecraft, designated GPS
IIR. The company has delivered 13 more of these satellites to the U.S. Air
Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. to
sustain the GPS constellation.
The satellite launched today, designated GPS IIR-8, will join 26 other
operational GPS satellites now on orbit. This satellite will improve global
coverage and increase the overall performance of the GPS constellation.
“We are proud of our partnership with the Air Force in carrying out the
important mission of the GPS system,” said Rick Skinner, vice president of
Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems. “We look forward to providing the
warfighter as well as commercial and private users world-wide with highly
accurate positioning location in a constellation where accuracy is a key
The Global Positioning System allows any properly equipped user to
determine precise time and velocity and worldwide latitude, longitude and
altitude to within a few meters. Although originally designed as a guidance
and navigational tool for the military, GPS has proven beneficial in the
commercial and civil markets for transportation, surveying and rescue
The GPS IIR satellites are compatible with the current system and provide
improved navigation accuracy, achieved by using an ITT Industries payload
system. Additionally, increased autonomy and longer spacecraft life are
inherent in the Lockheed Martin satellite design.
To bring new capabilities to the GPS constellation, Lockheed Martin is
under contract to modernize up to eight existing GPS IIR spacecraft already
built and in storage. These spacecraft, designated GPS IIR-M, will
incorporate two new military signals and a second civil signal, thus providing
military and civilian users of the navigation system with improved
capabilities much sooner than previously envisioned.
GPS modernization is being performed at the Space Systems – Valley Forge,
Pa. and ITT Industries, Clifton, N.J. facilities. First launch of a GPSIIR-M
satellite will be available by July 2004. The U.S. Air Force Space and Missile
Systems Center, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting agency.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is
one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space
Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of
advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers.
Chief products include space launch and ground systems, remote sensing and
communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced
space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles
and missile defense systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise
principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and
integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The
Corporation’s core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics, and
technology services. Employing about 124,000 people worldwide, Lockheed
Martin had 2001 sales of $24 billion.
CONTACT: Steve Tatum of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company,
+1-408-742-7531, or pager, +1-888-926-2912, or [email protected]