New GPS satellite goes into orbit

New GPS satellite goes into orbit

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Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA, 17 November 2006 – A U.S. Air Force modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin was launched successfully on November 17 from this seaside launch complex aboard a Delta II launch vehicle.

The satellite, designated GPS IIR-16M, is the third in a series of eight Block IIR-M spacecraft that Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems is developing for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. The Block IIR-M series includes new features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe.

Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.

In addition to the two IIR-M satellites now on-orbit, the satellite launched today joins 12 other operational Block IIR satellites within the overall 29-spacecraft constellation.

Lockheed Martin is also leading a team in the competition to build the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation Global Positioning System, GPS Block III. The next-generation program will address the challenging military transformational and civil needs across the globe, including advanced anti-jam capabilities and improved system security, accuracy and reliability.

– About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.