Press Release

Lockheed Martin Team Shifts Into Production Effort to Add GPS Demonstration Signal to Modernized Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
September 5, 2007
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A Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-led team has begun production activities to reconfigure a modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite to include a new demonstration payload that will temporarily transmit a third civil signal following a successful review with the Air Force.

Lockheed Martin and its navigation payload supplier ITT, Clifton, N.J., are proceeding on-schedule under a $6-million contract awarded by the Air Force in April 2007 to develop and integrate a payload that will provide an on-orbit demonstration capability for the new civil signal.

The signal, located on the L5 frequency (1176.45MHz) will comply with international radio frequency spectrum requirements. Future generations of GPS spacecraft will include an operational third civil signal to improve the accuracy and performance capabilities of the system. The Block IIR-M spacecraft with the demonstration payload is planned for launch in 2008.

“Working closely with our Air Force partner, our team has achieved a design approach that is truly responsive to the needs of our customer,” said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Navigation Systems. “We have already shifted our focus to the critical work ahead and have high confidence that we will successfully delivery this important demonstration capability next year.”

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Valley Forge, Pa., is the prime contractor for the GPS IIR program. The company designed and built 21 IIR spacecraft for the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The final eight spacecraft, designated GPS IIR-M, were modernized to enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe. ITT supplied all 21 navigation payloads for both the IIR and IIR-M spacecraft.

The GPS constellation provides critical situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military. The worldwide system also supports a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions — from air traffic control to the Internet — with precision location and timing information.

“This is a great example of Lockheed Martin’s systems integration capabilities,” said Rick Ambrose, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Surveillance and Navigation Systems line of business. “Our team came up with a design using proven technology to minimize the program and cost risks, and is on a solid path to demonstrate this important capability for our Air Force customer.”

Lockheed Martin has a legacy of successfully upgrading space programs. In addition to the modernization of the Block IIR program, the company provided progressively advanced upgrades to the Air Forces’ Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), and military satellite communications programs such as the Milstar and Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS).

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2006 sales of $39.6 billion.

Media Contact: Steve Tatum, 408-742-7531; e-mail,

SpaceRef staff editor.