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Four USAF contracts to better GPS performance

US: The US Air Force is investing to improve the GPS used worldwide for military and civilian purposes. The Air Force has announced four new GPS contracts between September 28 and October 1.

Three were in the USD 30-million range, including contracts to Rockwell Collins and L-3 Communications to test and engineer new GPS technology, while Raytheon was awarded just under USD-30 million to develop receiver cards for GPS systems. Honeywell International also received a USD 14-million contract for engineering services related to GPS.

Maintained by the US Air Force, the GPS is used in everything, from civilian car navigation to targeting for military weapon systems. The only competition for the American GPS is the Russian GLONASS system, although the European Union is currently developing its own system Galileo.

The contracts were announced days before the October 4 launch that put the first new GPS satellite for 2012 into orbit. That satellite, a Boeing-designed GPS IFF, improves on navigational accuracy, provides a more secure military signal and has a longer design life than older satellite models. It should deploy fully in about three months.

Source: Defense News