(C4I News via NewsEdge) Lockheed Martin and ITT have joined forces to compete for the rights to build the Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) III navigation and timing satellite.
The partnership will build upon the two companies' existing relationship on the Air Force's GPS IIR and IIR-M satellites. With the GPS II programs, Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor and ITT provides the navigation payloads.
The Air Force had said it would like to launch the first GPS III satellite in 2013, but was exploring options to incentivize the industry to deliver the spacecraft a few years earlier.
GPS III satellites will improve the accuracy of existing GPS satellites and feature enhanced anti-jam capabilities. They will also have the capacity to boost signal strength over an area in a crisis, and deny an adversary access to the signals. The Air Force eyes a constellation of between 24 and 30 GPS III satellites in coming decades.
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