First GPS Block IIF Satellite Operational

GPS IIF-1, the Air Force’s first Global Positioning System Block IIF navigation satellite, has entered service. “Now that IIF-1 is operational, military and commercial receivers around the world can begin using the satellite’s improved signals to more accurately determine their position,” stated Col. Bernard Gruber, commander of the GPS Wing at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., in a release issued Monday by Boeing, the satellite’s prime contractor. The company is building 12 Block IIF satellites for the Air Force. IIF-1 was lifted into space in late May, after which it underwent several months of on-orbit tests and checkout activities. Just last week, the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colo., took control of the satellite. IIF-1 joins 30 other operational satellites in the GPS constellation. Block IIFs offer a more jam-resistant military signal, greater accuracy, and a L5 signal for commercial aviation safety.