Fairfax, Virginia. July 29, 2014 – Lockheed Martin has awarded a $25.4 million full-production contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems to support the U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS) III Network Communications Element (NCE) for space vehicles seven and eight (SV 07-08).
GPS III, a critically important program for the Air Force, will affordably replace aging GPS satellites in orbit while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users. Compared to prior GPS vehicles, the Air Force’s GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy, provide up to eight times more powerful anti-jamming capabilities and include enhancements that extend spacecraft life 25 percent further. GPS III-series satellites also will carry a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, enhancing civilian-user connectivity.
“For more than 50 years, we have been a premier provider of spacecraft communications and navigation equipment for the nation’s military and government agencies,” said Carlo Zaffanella, vice president and general manager of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. “Our continued close work with Lockheed Martin on the GPS III program, coupled with our in-depth mission understanding, allows us to provide the Air Force with the next-generation of reliable and affordable solutions to replace the aging constellation of GPS satellites currently in orbit.”
General Dynamics’ NCE components provide the communications functions for the GPS III satellites, including the ground-to-space command and control channel, the space-to-space inter-satellite channel and the command and telemetry communications channels within each satellite. General Dynamics is now under contract with Lockheed Martin for GPS III SV 01-08. Delivery of the NCE components for SV03 and SV04 are scheduled for this summer.
The majority of the work under contract will be performed at the General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona and Bloomington, Minnesota.
The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the GPS III prime contractor with teammates Exelis, General Dynamics, Infinity Systems Engineering, Honeywell, ATK and other subcontractors. Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.