Lockheed Martin Space Vehicle Launched 17 June
The fifth Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite designed and built by Lockheed Martin was launched on 17 June and is now manoeuvring to achieve its orbit 12,550 miles above the Earth. This marks another step in supporting the US Space Force’s (USSF) GPS satellite constellation modernisation efforts.
Owned by the USSF, GPS III Space Vehicle 05 (GPS III SV)%) is the latest next-generation GPS III satellite, and the 24th Military Code (M-Code) signal-enabled GPS space vehicle on orbit, completing the constellation’s baseline requirement to provide our military forces a more secure, harder-to-jam and -spoof GPS signal.
GPS III satellites provide significant capability advances over earlier GPS satellites on orbit, including:
• Three times better accuracy;
• Up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities; and
• A new L1C civil signal, compatible with international global navigation satellite systems, like Europe’s GALILEO, to improve civilian user connectivity.
“With GPS III SV05, we continue our focus on rapidly fielding innovative capabilities for the Space Force’s positioning, navigation and timing mission,” stated Tonya Ladwig, Lockheed Martin VP for Navigation Systems. “With each satellite we bring to orbit, we help the US Space Force to modernize the GPS constellation’s technology and to imagine future capability. Our next three satellites, GPS III SV06, SV07 and SV08, are already complete and just waiting for a launch date.”
Part of America’s critical national infrastructure, GPS drives an estimated $300 billion in annual economic benefits, and is responsible for $1.4 trillion since its inception. Globally, more than four billion military, civil and commercial users depend on GPS’ positioning, navigation and timing signals.