The Air Force’s third Global Positioning System IIF satellite arrived at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., earlier this month in preparation for its scheduled launch later this year, announced manufacturer Boeing. Dubbed SVN-65, this satellite is slated to go into orbit in October aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket, according to the company’s July 25 release. Fielding the IIF satellites is part of the Air Force’s overall effort to sustain and modernize the GPS constellation, which provides precision positioning, navigation, and timing services to the US military and civil users worldwide. “As each IIF satellite becomes operational, we continue the seamless transformation of the GPS constellation into an even more accurate, reliable, and durable navigation resource,” said Craig Cooning, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems general manager. The first IIF satellite entered service in summer 2010. The second IIF spacecraft began operations about one year later. Boeing is contracted to build 12 IIF satellites.
Space Development Agency director Derek M. Tournear, the driving force behind the Space Force's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, said the service won't change its strategy in the face of reports that Russia is developing a space-based nuclear weapon.