The Second GPS III Satellite is Now Ready to Launch

The U.S. Air Force announced that the Lockheed Martin-built second GPS III satellite is complete, fully tested and ready to launch.

The Air Force's "Available for Launch" declaration is the final acceptance of Lockheed Martin's second GPS III Space Vehicle (GPS III SV02) – declaring it technically sound and ready to launch. The GPS III SV02 will bring new capabilities to the U.S. and allied military forces, and a new civil signal that will improve future connectivity worldwide for commercial and civilian users.

GPS III SV02 now awaits official signal for launch in Lockheed Martin's GPS III Processing Facility clean room in Denver.

Once launched, the GPS III satellite will be the most powerful GPS satellite in orbit. GPS III has three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities than the existing GPS solution. The new L1C civil signal will also make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems.

Lockheed Martin is now developing ten GPS III satellites at its GPS III Processing Facility near Denver.

In May, the antenna deck was added to GPS III SV04, fully integrating it into a complete satellite ready to begin environmental testing. In June, GPS III SV03 completed Thermal Vacuum testing, strenuous environmental trials simulating operations in the harshest space environments.

Right behind GPS III SV04 on the production line, the fifth, sixth and seventh GPS III satellites are in the component build-up phase. The fifth satellite already has its navigation payload and is expected to be fully assembled later this summer. To date, more than 90 percent of parts and materials for all 10 satellites under contract have been received.

In April, the Lockheed submitted a proposal to the government to build up to 22 additional GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) satellites which would bring even further enhanced capabilities to the GPS constellation's more than four billion users. For additional information on GPS III, click here.