Next-Gen GPS Award Delayed

The Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles issued an April 21 statement that the contract award for the Global Positioning System Block III satellites is in its final stages, but officials do not expect to announce the award until sometime in May. Lockheed Martin and Boeing submitted proposals last summer for GPS IIIA, the first of three planned blocks with incremental improvements. At that time, analysts expected a contract award by the end of 2007. When it does come, the GPS IIIA contract will call for two research and development vehicles and eight production vehicles. SMC notes that the next-generation satellite not only will provide improved position, navigation, and timing services, but also “increased resistance to hostile jamming for military users,” something that Air Force Space Command boss Gen. Robert Kehler said earlier this month is increasingly necessary as rudimentary, but effective, jamming technologies proliferate around the world.