Lockheed Martin’s modernized U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket. The satellite, designated GPS IIR-21(M), is the final of eight GPS IIR-M spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems for the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, LA AFB
The Block IIR-M series enhances signal performance for military and civilian GPS navigation customers around the globe, via a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy for tactical situations, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities, and a second civil signal, providing civilian users with an open access signal on a different frequency.
Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Navigation Systems, said “Lockheed Martin is incredibly proud of the success of this program and I applaud the joint team’s hard work and perseverance in reaching this major milestone. The successful launch of this final satellite in the GPS IIR program exemplifies not only our commitment to designing and building high-performance spacecraft, but also to delivering 100 percent mission success for our customer.”
Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Newtown, Pa., is the prime contractor for the GPS IIR program. Lockheed Martin recently began an expansion to its Newtown facilities with a 17, 000 square foot addition to enable increased sattelite production capability.