Exelis to Build GPS III Payloads for Lockheed

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ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) won a $32 million contract from Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) to build satellite navigation payloads.

The McLean, Va. based communications and contracting firm will develop the payloads for Global Positioning System III space vehicles three and four.

Mark Pisani, a vice president and general manager for the company’s geospatial systems unit, said the company has provided GPS payloads for nearly 40 years.

Keoki Jackson, Lockheed’s GPS III program director, said more than one billion people will use the satellites.

The Air Force named the Bethesda, Md.-based firm the program’s prime contractor in 2008.

The GPS III satellites will have an interoperable civil signal.

The satellites are scheduled to launch in 2014 and will replace the current GPS space vehicles for military, commercial and civilian users worldwide.

In January the Air Force awarded Lockheed a $21.5 million contract to provide a launch and checkout capability to control all GPS III satellites throughout launch and early on-orbit testing.

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