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GPS Block III  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2018
Total Production: 10
Unitary Cost: USD$543 million
Total Cost: USD$4.4 billion
Also Known As: GPS Block IIIA, GPS Block IIIB, GPS Block IIIC and GPS III
Origin: United States of America
Corporations: ATK Alliant Techsystems, Exelis, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Honeywell, Infinity Systems Engineering, ITT Industries and Lockheed Martin*   (*) lead contractor
Parent System: NAVSTAR
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1978
Total Production: 104
Total Cost: USD$7.6 billion
Family Members: GPS Block I, GPS Block II, GPS Block IIF, GPS Block IIIF and GPS Block IIR
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Description: The GPS satellites developed under the NAVSTAR program allows any properly equipped user to determine precise time, velocity and worldwide latitude, longitude and altitude to within a few meters. Originally was designed to be an accurate guidance and navigation tool for the military services but it has been adopted by civil and commercial customers for transportation, surveying and rescue operations. The first GPS Block I spacecraft was put into orbit on February 22, 1978. In the past, the GPS constellation spacecrafts fluctuated from 2-18 to 21 but currently the GPS constellation owned by the United States Air Force consists of 27 satellites (24+3 spares). As of 2004, the US Air Force GPS constellation consists of six planes, each one containing at least four satellites operating 24/7. Redundant satellites are being launched as spares to counterbalance attrition. The GPS is transitioning into the 2020s and the 2030s with the GPS Block III and Block IIIF satellites.

The GPS Block III is an initiative of the US Air Force intended to meet the requirements for satellite-based navigation and timing capabilities over the next 30 years. Two industry teams led by Lockheed-Martin and Boeing are currently competing for the GPS Block III program. Finally, the US Air Force selected Lockheed Martin-led team to build eight (up to 12) GPS IIIA satellites worth $1.4 billion with the first spacecraft to be placed into orbit in 2014. The US Air Force GPS Block III plans call for the procurement of eight GPS IIIB and 16 GPS IIIC satellites in later increments. The final GPS III constellation includes 10 satellites supplied by Lockheed Martin to be placed into orbit beginning in late 2018.

The GPS IIIA satellites will deliver significant improvements over current GPS space vehicles, including a new international civil signal (L1C) and increased M-Code anti-jam power with full earth coverage for military users. GPS IIIB will enable a cross-linked command and control architecture, allowing these GPS III vehicles to be updated from a single ground station instead of waiting for each satellite to orbit in view of a ground antenna. GPS IIIC will include a high-powered spot beam to deliver greater M-Code power for increased resistance to hostile jamming. The final GPS III satellite provides three times better accuracy and up to eight-times improved anti-jamming capabilities. The navigation payload is 70 percent digital. The L1C civil signal makes GPS Block III satellite interoperable with other navigation satellites such as Galileo.

GPS Block III Specifications

Dimensions
Diameter: 1.52 meter
Solar Panel Span: 5.33 meter (17.5 foot)
Performance
Orbit: 20,200 kilometer (12,554 mile)
Positioning Accuracy: 3 meter
Time
Service Life: 15 year (5,475 day)
Weight
Weight: 844 kilogram (1,861 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

GPS Block III News

There are 18 news between
4 Jan 2007 and 17 Apr 2018
1  2  
Tuesday, April 17, 2018Lockheed Martin to Compete for US Air Force GPS Block IIIF Program
Wednesday, September 21, 2016US Air Force Orders 9th and 10th GPS Block III Satellites
Thursday, August 25, 2016Russian Armed Forces Deploy Pole-21 GPS Jammer
Friday, June 12, 2015Raytheon Demonstrates Advanced GPS OCX Capabilities
Tuesday, April 1, 2014US Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin Full Production Contracts for Two GPS III Satellites
Monday, December 16, 2013US Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin Contract to Complete Two More GPS III Satellites
Monday, September 23, 2013GPS III Satellite Prototype Successfully Integrated with OCX Ground Control Segment
Thursday, January 12, 2012US Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin Contract for Third and Fourth GPS III Satellites
Monday, October 10, 2011GPS III Non Flight Satellite Testbed Powered On
Friday, February 26, 2010Raytheon to Develop Next-Generation GPS Control Segment

Operators & Related Equipment


OperatorsItems

Grand Total 101
 

GPS Block III Spacecraft Listing


SerialCountry - Launch Rocket - SiteStatusLaunch DateOperationalRetired
GPS III SV01 Falcon 9 Block 5 - Cape Canaveral Air Force Station18 Dec 2018--
GPS III SV02 ? - ?2019--
GPS III SV03 ? - ?2020--
GPS III SV04 ? - ?2020--
GPS III SV05 ? - ?2021--
GPS III SV06 ? - ?2021--
GPS III SV07 ? - ?2022--
GPS III SV08 ? - ?2023--
GPS III SV09 ? - ?2024--
GPS III SV10 ? - ?2025--

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