US: The SMSC has announced that they will be enlisting Lockheed Martin’s expertise in delivering two new GPS by 2022. The contract option procures long lead and production hardware to produce space vehicles 9 and 10 for the next generation of GPS satellites being built by Lockheed Martin. The Air Force expects the satellites to be available for launch in 2022.
Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile Systems Center’s commander and Air Force program executive officer for Space stated, “The GPS III SV 9 and 10 satellites are expected to be ready for launch in 2022, thus sustaining the GPS constellation and the global utility the world has come to expect.”
The government expects to compete future purchases of GPS III satellites beginning with GPS III SV 11. This competition will maintain the current technical baseline of GPS III, and will add additional hosted payloads to increase system accuracy, search and rescue capability, and universal S-Band compatibility.
Operated by US Air Force Space Command, the GPS constellation provides precise positioning, navigation, and timing services worldwide seven days a week, 24-hours a day.
Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California, is the US Air Force’s center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.