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Lockheed Martin submits GPS IIIF proposal

19th April 2018 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Lockheed Martin has submitted its proposal for the US Air Force's GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) programme, it was announced on 17 April.

The programme aims to build up to 22 next-generation satellites with enhanced capabilities. Lockheed Martin's proposal adds more power, resiliency and capabilities to the GPS III satellite design currently in production.

Lockheed Martin's proposed GPS IIIF will feature a regional military protection capability that will increase anti-jam support in-theatre to ensure that the US and allied forces are not denied access to GPS in hostile environments. It will also feature a fully-digital navigation payload. The payload on the first ten GPS III satellites that are currently in production is already 70% digital.

Each GPS IIIF satellite will have a laser retro-reflector array, which would refine the positioning of on-orbit satellites with ground-based laser precision. The US government will provide each of these satellites with a new search and rescue payload, making it easier for first responders to detect and respond to emergency signals.

Johnathon Caldwell, program manager for Lockheed Martin's navigation systems mission area, said: ‘When we developed our design for the first ten GPS III, we used a flexible, modular architecture that would allow for the insertion of modern technologies and new USAF requirements in a low-risk manner.

‘In addition, our GPS IIIF solution is based off a design already proven compatible with both the USAF’s next generation operational control system and the existing GPS constellation.’

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