A U.S. Air Force modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M)
satellite, built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), was successfully launched
today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance
(ULA) Delta II launch vehicle.
The satellite, designated GPS IIR-19M, is the sixth in a line of eight
GPS IIR satellites that Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems, Valley Forge,
Pa. has modernized for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing,
Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.
Today's mission represented the third successful launch of a GPS IIR-M
satellite in under five months and is one of the final three Block IIR-M
satellites planned for launch in 2008 to sustain and improve the GPS
Each IIR-M satellite includes 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.
"All of us at Lockheed Martin are proud of our long-standing
partnership with the Air Force and the Block IIR-M's impressive record of
performance," said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin's vice president of
Navigation Systems. "We look forward to conducting another timely and
efficient on-orbit checkout so that the warfighter and civil users around
the globe can benefit from this satellite's advanced navigational
capabilities as quickly as possible."
The GPS constellation provides critical situational awareness and
precision weapon guidance for the military and supports a wide range of
civil, scientific and commercial functions -- from air traffic control to
the Internet -- with precision location and timing information.
Lockheed Martin and its navigation payload provider ITT of Clifton,
N.J. designed and built 21 IIR spacecraft and subsequently modernized eight
of those spacecraft designated Block IIR-M for the Air Force. The final
satellite, which includes a new demonstration payload that will provide a
temporary on-orbit demonstration for the new civil signal, known as L5, has
just completed final integration testing and is on track for shipment to
Cape Canaveral next month in preparation for launch in June.
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
Lockheed Martin is also leading a team which includes ITT and General
Dynamics in the competition to build the U.S. Air Force's next-generation
Global Positioning System, GPS Block III. The next-generation 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.
A multi-billion dollar development contract is scheduled to be awarded
by the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center,
Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. in early 2008.
Source: 6th Modernized GPS Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin Successfully Launched From Cape Canaveral
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