WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force declared its most recently launched navigation, positioning and timing satellite operational June 21, according to a July 9 press release from Boeing.

The fourth GPS 2F was launched May 15 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. The satellite was built by Boeing Network and Space Systems of El Segundo, Calif.  

The GPS 2F satellites provide better accuracy and more resistance to jamming than the previous generation of GPS satellites, most of which are still in operation. 

“With each IIF that we add to the network, the Air Force and Boeing give military and civilian users around the world better GPS navigation and timing information,” Craig Cooning, Boeing’s vice president and general manager of Space & Intelligence Systems, said in a statement.

The size of the current GPS constellation is now 31 satellites, Air Force officials said. The fifth of 12 GPS 2F satellites planned is scheduled for launch in October aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket.

Mike Gruss is a senior staff writer for SpaceNews. He joined the publication in January 2013 to cover military space. Previously, he worked as a reporter and columnist for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. and The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. He...