The Air Force awarded $200 million in contract options to Lockheed Martin to complete the fifth and sixth Global Positioning System III satellites, which are currently on the production floor at the company’s GPS III processing facility in Denver, announced Lockheed. This new contract builds on a February contract to procure long lead parts for a second set of four GPS III space vehicles. Funding for space vehicles seven and eight is expected in 2014, according to the release. “Lockheed Martin’s GPS III program has a rigorous testing plan and mission success focus aligned with the Air Force’s back-to-basics approach, and is specifically designed to enable predictable and affordable recurring production through disciplined development and early risk reduction,” said Mark Stewart, a vice president of Lockheed Martin. GPS III will replace aging GPS satellites in orbit, improving the Air Force’s space accuracy and anti-jamming capabilities.
An Air Force C-17 transport jet recently tested a new technology that could help aviators stay on course even if the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) that much of modern-day aviation relies on is compromised.