The U.S. Air Force last month reiterated its intention to choose a single contractor for a new constellation of global positioning satellites known as GPS III. Teams led by Lockheed Martin and Boeing are competing for the contract to launch eight Block A GPS III satellites by 2013. The Air Force invited bids last month for these first satellites, the foundation for an enhanced system scheduled to start operating in 2018.
The proposals, due August 27, are expected to culminate with the award of a winner-takes-all contract by the end of the year. Lockheed Martin and Boeing will focus on enhanced accuracy, interoperability with Europe’s Galileo satellite positioning system, improved anti-jamming capability and a requirement for the Defense Department to be able to shut off the signals in select geographic locations. The winner of the contract will build another eight satellites for a second launch batch and 16 for a third.
Lockheed Martin’s GPS III team includes ITT and General Dynamics. Boeing has yet to formally announce its main subcontractors for the project.