What is GPS III?

What is GPS 3 or GPS III?

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- everything RF

Apr 14, 2023

GPS III is the third generation of GPS satellites being developed by Lockheed Martin. GPS III satellites will have 3x better accuracy and up to 8x improved anti-jamming capabilities. The Improved anti-jamming capabilities ensure that important signals utilized by warfighters are not interrupted. These satellites will send the new L1C civil signal that makes them the first GPS satellite broadcasting a compatible signal with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Galileo, therby improving connectivity for civilian users. The satellites have an increased design life of up to 15 years, which is 25% longer than the existing GPS satellites in orbit today.

All GPS III satellites have validated compatibility with the next-generation Operational Control System (OCX) and the existing GPS constellation, significantly mitigating risks from adding GPS III to the constellation. These satellites allow new technology and capabilities to be added in the future to better/effectively address changing mission needs and emerging threats.

Lockheed Martin designed and developed the first 10 GPS III satellites (SV01-SV10). Out of 10 GPS III satellites, currently, 6 satellites have been launched and are in service. The construction of the remaining 4 satellite has been completed and they are now available for launch. The following table provides information regarding the status of the GPS III satellites.

Status of GPS III Satellites

Launch Date
GPS III-0123 December 2018In Service
GPS III-0222 August 2019In Service
GPS III-0330 June 2020In Service
GPS III-045 November 2020In Service
GPS III-0517 June 2021In Service
GPS III-0618 January 2023In Service
GPS III-07May 2024 (TBD)Ready for Launch
GPS III-082025 (TBD)Ready for Launch
GPS III-092026 (TBD)Ready for Launch
GPS III-102026 (TBD)Ready for Launch

The second set of GPS III satellites will be launched sometime after 2026. This new version will be called GPS IIIF. Click here to learn more about GOS IIIF.