The fourth on-orbit GPS IIF navigation satellite is now operating as part of the Air Force’s GPS constellation, announced Boeing, the satellite’s manufacturer, on Tuesday. Launched into space on May 15, Air Force operators set the spacecraft to healthy status on June 21, states Boeing’s July 9 release. “With each IIF that we add to the network, the Air Force and Boeing give military and civilian users around the world better GPS navigation and timing information,” said Craig Cooning, general manager of the company’s space and intelligence systems. The GPS constellation—including the new IIF spacecraft, which is now designated SVN-66, includes 31 active satellites, according to Boeing. The next GPS IIF spacecraft in the series, the fifth of 12 planned, is slated for launch in October.
The Pentagon awarded a $2.02 billion contract for Lot 17 of F-35 engines to contractor Pratt & Whitney on June 5. Work on the F135 engine is expected to be completed by December 2025.