Funding GPS III

The Air Force has requested $380.1 million in its Fiscal 2016 budget for the Global Positioning System III program, including $199.2 million for procurement and $180.9 million for continued research, development, testing, and evaluation. That does not, however, include funding for the ground segment and user equipment, according to USAF budget documents. The budget funds the procurement of the tenth GPS III satellite in Fiscal 2016, one satellite in Fiscal 2017, and then three each in Fiscal 2018-2020, said Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, director of space programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, during a Feb. 6 Pentagon briefing. He added that the light procurement strategy allows the Air Force to “transition based on operational need” to the next block of satellites and continue to evaluate the best option “with regard to alternative capabilities and alternative providers.” The current provider, Lockheed Martin, has missed several delivery deadlines on the current block buy. “No decision has been made yet regarding follow-on acquisition or a different path,” Teague said. “I think in the end this is good program oversight and responsible and prudent program management to ensure that in fact we are delivering the capabilities that we need when we need them, and to ensure that we’re taking full advantage of the industrial base.” (Fiscal 2016 space procurement budget) (Teague transcript)