Press Release

Lockheed Martin Team Submits Proposal to Design and Build U.S. Air Force’s GPS III Space Segment

By SpaceRef Editor
August 27, 2007
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A Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT – News)- led team has submitted its proposal to design and build the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation Global Positioning System Space Segment program, known as GPS Block III. This program will improve position, navigation, and timing services for the warfighter and civil users worldwide and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding improved system security, accuracy and reliability.

The proposal builds on the team’s proven record of providing progressively advanced spacecraft for the current GPS constellation: the team designed and built 21 Block IIR satellites for the Air Force and subsequently modernized eight of those spacecraft, designated Block IIR-M, to enhance operations and navigation signal performance.

“Working closely with the Air Force, our experienced GPS III team has defined a low-risk, evolutionary program plan based on a strong foundation of solid program execution and operational performance,” said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “We understand the importance of this critical system and stand ready to extend our record of superior performance in delivering capabilities that better serve our warfighters and civil users around the globe.”

For the GPS III competition, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, with headquarters in Denver, is serving as the Space Segment prime contractor. ITT Corporation will provide the navigation payload, and General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems will provide the Network Communications Element (NCE) which includes the UHF Crosslink and Tracking Telemetry & Command (TT&C) subsystems.

“As the complete navigation payload provider for every GPS IIR satellite ever launched, ITT is proud to serve on Lockheed Martin’s GPS III team,” said Chris Young, president of ITT Space Systems Division. “Our 53 GPS payloads have accumulated over 500 years of orbit life without a mission failure and we are committed to leveraging this expertise from across the company to deliver increased capabilities and security to future civil and military GPS III users worldwide.”

“General Dynamics has long been a trusted teammate providing proven communications subsystems for the GPS constellation and we look forward to helping ensure the success of GPS III,” said Dennis Lowrey, Vice President of space systems, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.

The proposal, submitted on Friday, Aug. 24, is for the multi-billion dollar Development and Production contract scheduled to be awarded by the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. in late 2007.

The contract will include eight GPS IIIA satellites with the first launch projected to be available in 2013. Eight GPS IIIB, and 16 GPS IIIC satellites are planned for later increments, with each increment including additional capabilities based on technical maturity.

Lockheed Martin’s original GPS III Phase A risk reduction and system definition contract awarded in 2004 recently culminated in a successful System Design Review at its facilities in Valley Forge, Pa. This effort, completed on-schedule, detailed the team’s planned architecture and design approach for the system and summarized results of risk reduction efforts as well as the team’s highly successful conduct on the Block IIR and IIR-M programs.

When fully deployed, the GPS III constellation will feature a cross-linked command and control architecture, allowing the entire GPS constellation to be updated simultaneously from a single ground station. Additionally a new spot beam capability for enhanced M-Code coverage and increased resistance to hostile jamming will be incorporated. These enhancements will contribute to improved accuracy and assured availability for military and civilian users worldwide.

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.