Press Release

Modernized GPS Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin Ready for Launch From Cape Canaveral

By SpaceRef Editor
September 21, 2006
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Modernized GPS Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin Ready for Launch From Cape Canaveral

The second modernized Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIR satellite built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for the U.S. Air Force is set for launch aboard a Delta II rocket on Sept. 25, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Known as GPS IIR-M, the modernized 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.

Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems is under contract to modernize eight IIR satellites for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Designated GPS IIR-15(M), this satellite will join the first modernized IIR spacecraft declared operational last year and 12 other operational Block IIR satellites currently on-orbit within the overall 29-spacecraft constellation. The Air Force is dedicating the mission to honor American POW/MIAs past and present.

The GPS IIR-M series offers a variety of enhanced features for GPS users, such as 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.

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. Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users. GPS IIR-M production takes place at Lockheed Martin facilities in Valley Forge, Pa. The modernized navigation payload is provided by ITT Industries in Clifton, N.J.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 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 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.


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

Low- and high-resolution JPEG image files of a GPS IIR-M satellite are available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.