Aerospace and Defense

December 18, 2017

GPS III RFP Delayed Again as GAO Underscores GPS Schedule Challenges

An additional delay in release of the GPS III RFP emerged just as federal watchdogs released a new report detailing the challenges Air Fore managers will face in keeping all the components of the modernization program on track.

The long-expected report from the Government Accountability Office looks at the overall effort to update GPS including developing a new ground system, more capable receiver cards for military equipment and new satellites to sustain and improve the constellation.

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By Inside GNSS
December 15, 2017

Harris Corp. Delivers Fourth GPS III Satellite Navigation Payload; Establishing a Proven, Reliable Production Cadence

Completing the fourth delivery of 10 navigation payloads for Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellites, Harris Corporation delivered the advanced navigation payload for the fourth GPS III Space Vehicle (SV04) to Lockheed Martin on October 29 – establishing a proven and reliable production cadence. Harris delivered two payloads in 2017 and is committed to delivering four more in 2018.

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By Inside GNSS
December 14, 2017

Air Force’s First GPS III Satellite Receives Commands from OCX Ground Control Segment

The first advanced GPS III satellite successfully established remote connectivity and communicated with the Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX), further validating the U.S. Air Force’s modernized Global Positioning System (GPS) is ready to launch its first satellite.

On November 2, 2017, GPS III Space Vehicle 01 (GPS III SV01), the first of 10 GPS III satellites designed by Lockheed Martin, and OCX, being developed by Raytheon Corporation, successfully completed Factory Mission Readiness Testing (FMRT).

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By Inside GNSS

Lockheed Martin Assembles Third U.S. Air Force GPS III Satellite

The GPS III SV03 fully assembled. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

The U.S. Air Force’s third GPS III satellite in production flow at Lockheed Martin’s advanced satellite manufacturing facility in Denver is now fully integrated into a complete space vehicle.

GPS III Space Vehicle 03 (GPS III SV03) followed the first two GPS III satellites on a streamlined assembly and test production line. Technicians successfully integrated the satellite’s major components – its system module, navigation payload and propulsion core – into one fully-assembled space vehicle on August 14.

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By Inside GNSS
November 22, 2017

Contest to Build 22 New GPS III Satellites Commences Dec. 7

Air Force Space Command announced Wednesday it will begin the next phase of its plan to buy another 22 GPS III satellites in two weeks.

The November 22 posting on Fed Biz Opps (fbo.gov) said the highly anticipated Request for Proposals (RFP) would be released on or about December 7. The contract for the new space vehicles is "planned as a single, predominantly Fixed Price Incentive-type contract awarded via full and open competition for production of 22 GPS III SVs."

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By Inside GNSS

Next Tranche of GPS Satellites to be called GPS IIIFs

The Global Positioning Systems Directorate, which is poised to launch its procurement of another 22 GPS III satellites, has given its next tranche of spacecraft a name.

"We are officially calling this GPS IIIF," Col. Gerry Gleckel, the Directorate’s deputy director, told the November meeting of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board. "Just as there was a IIF that was the follow-on for the GPS II’s, this is the follow-on for the GPS III."

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By Dee Ann Divis
November 10, 2017

Lawmakers Begin Moving Military Space Management Out of the Air Force

Photo courtesy of GPS.gov.

House and Senate authorizers are forcing a reorganization of the Pentagon’s management of military space programs, giving authority to a soon-to-be-named official to prioritize space budgets across services and setting planning in motion for a possible new department. They also approved spending the full amounts requested for the military GPS programs and mandated that defense officials both test a backup to GPS and look at incorporating European and Japanese GNSS signals into military user equipment.

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By Inside GNSS