Press Release

U.S. Air Force Successfully Launches Upgraded GPS Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin

By SpaceRef Editor
November 6, 2004
Filed under , ,
U.S. Air Force Successfully Launches Upgraded GPS Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin -built Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite
was successfully launched today by the U.S. Air Force from Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, Fla. This was the 12th successful launch of the new-generation
GPS IIR spacecraft.

The satellite, designated GPS IIR-13, will join 29 other operational GPS
satellites now on orbit, and will improve global coverage and increase the
overall performance of the GPS constellation. The company has delivered eight
more of these satellites to the Navstar GPS Joint Program Office, Space and
Missile Systems Center, to sustain the GPS constellation.

“With the successful launch of GPS IIR-13, the world-wide navigation
system for both military and civil users is more robust than ever,” said Dave
Podlesney, GPS IIR Program Director, Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Valley
Forge, Pa. “We take great pride in our partnership with the Air Force in
carrying out the important mission of the GPS system and look forward to
providing significantly improved positioning capabilities as we transition to
the modernized fleet of IIR spacecraft.”

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 a number of activities, including
transportation, surveying and rescue operations.

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.

Lockheed Martin is performing GPS modernization at its Space Systems
facilities in Valley Forge, Pa., and ITT Industries in Clifton, N.J. The first
launch of a GPS IIR-M satellite is scheduled for May 2005.

Lockheed Martin is also leading a team to develop the U.S. Air Force’s
next-generation Global Positioning System, GPS III. The team, which includes
Spectrum Astro, Raytheon, ITT, and General Dynamics, is currently under
contract for GPS III concept definition and plans to compete for the future

GPS III will address the challenging military transformational and civil
needs across the globe, including advanced anti-jam capabilities, improved
system security and accuracy, and reliability. The new satellite system will
enhance space-based navigation and performance and set a new world standard
for positioning and timing services. The team selected to meet this challenge
will provide system and sustaining engineering, satellite development and
production, control segment upgrades, and continuous research and development
for this evolutionary system.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000
people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design,
development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems,
products and services. The corporation reported 2003 sales of $31.8 billion.

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

SpaceRef staff editor.