The Pentagon gave the go-ahead to continue work on the troubled GPS ground system, saying that the restructured program is making progress on key milestones.
Harris Corp. on Sept. 28 said it delivered the first of 34 modernized satellite receivers to Raytheon for the next-generation GPS ground system Raytheon is developing for the U.S. Air Force.
The U.S. Air Force exercised a $395 million contract option for Lockheed Martin to build the ninth and tenth satellites in the next-generation of position, navigation and timing satellites, the Defense Department announced Sept. 21.
Lockheed Martin has pushed back the delivery of the first satellite in the U.S. Air Force’s next generation of positioning, navigation and timing satellites by four months after discovering a problem with the navigation payload, the company said Sept. 14.
The Air Force formally issued a solicitation July 29 for SpaceX and United Launch Alliance to launch the third GPS 3 position, navigation and timing satellite, setting up what is expected to be the first true competition between the two companies for a national security launch contract.
The U.S. Air Force said June 30 that a next-generation ground system to control GPS satellites is critically over budget and has triggered a cost-control measure that presumes the program to be cancelled unless the Secretary of Defense certifies it should continue.
The GPS system is at the crossroads. However, Congress jeopardizing funding for the continuation of the system could bring that progress to a screeching halt, at the expense of military, private citizens and businesses across the country.
Senate appropriators said the ground control system for the next-generation of GPS satellites “remains in jeopardy” and that as a result, the Air Force should slow its launch cadence for future GPS satellites and terminate development efforts for latter parts of the new system.
The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman separate $5 million contracts to demonstrate their ability to build the next batch of GPS 3 positioning, navigation and timing satellites, according to a May 5 announcement from the service.
SpaceX has won an $82.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to launch a next-generation GPS satellite aboard its Falcon 9 rocket in May 2018, the first of nine competitive launch awards the Defense Department plans to make in the next three years.
The first satellite in the Air Force’s GPS 3 constellation could be available for launch as early as August, a top Lockheed Martin executive said March 8.
Frustrated with progress on a new ground system for the next-generation of GPS satellites the Pentagon hopes to start launching just over a year from now, the U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $96 million contract modification Feb. 4 to adapt the existing ground system to serve as a stop-gap measure.
Harris Corp. plans further workforce reductions at its CapRock Communications satellite services division in the face of the decline in satellite-bandwidth demand from energy exploration companies as crude-oil prices test multi-year lows.
In its first mission for 2016, the Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday successfully launched the fifth satellite of its space-based navigational system that it says will become fully operational by middle of this year.