General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics Corp., was recently awarded a $26 million contract from Lockheed Martin to support the U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS) III Network Communications Element (NCE).
The Air Force’s next-generation GPS III satellites will improve position, navigation and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability.
“We bring more than a half-century of experience in the spacecraft communications and navigation domain to this program,” said Kirstan Rock, vice president and general manager of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. “We look forward to continuing working with Lockheed Martin to deliver high-quality, reliable and affordable solutions to the Air Force to advance their mission.”
General Dynamics is already under contract with Lockheed Martin to produce the NCE for the first four GPS III space vehicles (SV01-SV04), as well as for the procurement of long lead material for the second set of four space vehicles (SV05-SV08). This follow-on contract provides General Dynamics with the funding to complete the NCE for SV05 and SV06. General Dynamics’ NCE components provide the communications functions for the GPS III satellites, including the ground-to-space command and control channel, the space-to-space inter-satellite channel and the command and telemetry communications channels within each satellite. NCE components have been delivered for SV01 and SV02. The NCEs for SV03 and SV04 are scheduled for delivery by June 2014.
GPS III is an important program for the U.S. Air Force, affordably replacing the aging constellation of GPS satellites currently in orbit. Compared to prior GPS vehicles, GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy, provide up to eight times more powerful anti-jamming capabilities and include enhancements that extend spacecraft life 25 percent further.
GPS III-series satellites also will carry a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, enhancing civilian user connectivity.