EWTOWN, Penn., January 11th, 2012. The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $21.5 million contract to provide a Launch and Checkout Capability (LCC) to command and control all GPS III satellites from launch through early on-orbit testing. The LCC, which will be integrated into the Raytheon-developed Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX), will ensure launch availability for the first GPS III satellite in 2014. The LCC includes trained satellite operators and engineering solutions in partnership with OCX to support launch, early orbit operations and checkout of all GPS III satellites before the spacecraft are turned over to Air Force Space Command for operations. The GPS III program will replace aging GPS satellites while improving capability to meet the needs of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide. The satellites will deliver better accuracy and improved anti-jamming power while enhancing the spacecraft’s design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems. The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the GPS III prime contractor with teammates ITT Exelis, General Dynamics, Infinity Systems Engineering, Honeywell, ATK and other subcontractors. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.