Final Lockheed Martin-built modernized GPS IIR spacecraft launched for U.S. Air Force

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., 18 Aug. 2009. A modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket. Designated GPS IIR-21(M), the satellite is the last of eight GPS IIR-M spacecraft modernized for the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., 18 Aug. 2009. A modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket.

Designated GPS IIR-21(M), the satellite is the last of eight GPS IIR-M spacecraft that the Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems team in Newtown, Pa., modernized for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

The Block IIR-M series enhances operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe -- specifically a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities, and a second civil signal, providing users with an open access signal on a different frequency, says a representative.

Lockheed Martin is developing the next-generation GPS III spacecraft to improve position, navigation, and timing services for users worldwide. The first block of the new generation satellites, known as GPS IIIA, will deliver significant enhancements over current GPS space vehicles, including a new international civil signal (L1C), and increased M-Code anti-jam power with full earth coverage for military users.

The satellite will join six IIR-M satellites and 12 other operational Block IIR satellites within the current 30-spacecraft constellation. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for civil and military users.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Newtown, Pa., is the prime contractor for the GPS IIR program. The company designed and built 21 IIR spacecraft. ITT, Clifton, N.J., supplied all 21 navigation payloads for both the IIR and IIR-M spacecraft.

The Lockheed Martin-led GPS III team is progressing on schedule, with first launch of a GPS IIIA satellite on track for 2014. The program team completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) phase and is now in the midst of the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase.

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