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NEWTOWN, Pa., January 11th, 2012 -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $21.5 million contract to provide a Launch and Checkout Capability (LCC) to command and control all GPS III satellites from launch through early on-orbit testing.
The LCC, which will be integrated into the Raytheon-developed Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX), will ensure launch availability for the first GPS III satellite in 2014. The LCC includes trained satellite operators and engineering solutions in partnership with OCX to support launch, early orbit operations and checkout of all GPS III satellites before the spacecraft are turned over to Air Force Space Command for operations.
“Achieving initial launch capability in 2014 is critical to introducing new GPS capabilities on time and will enable the GPS III program to continue its production pace, maximize efficiencies and reduce long term costs for the GPS enterprise as a whole,” said Col Bernard Gruber, director of the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate. “The Launch and Checkout Capability will ensure we can launch in 2014, effectively closing the time gap between GPS III and the Next Generation Operational Control System.”
The GPS III program will affordably replace aging GPS satellites while improving capability to meet the evolving needs of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide. The satellites will deliver better accuracy and improved anti-jamming power while enhancing the spacecraft’s design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems
“We are proud of our partnership with the U.S. Air Force in building and operating the Nation’s GPS satellites and we are dedicated to meeting our commitments for GPS III and the Launch and Checkout Capability,” said Joe Trench, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area. “We have an extremely talented and committed government and industry GPS team in place and we are focused on affordable and efficient program execution.”
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 ITT 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, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.
Note to Editors:
GPS III video and high-resolution images are available for download at www.lockheedmartin.com/gps