Lockheed Martin awarded ITT Exelis Geospatial Information Systems of Rochester, N.Y., a contract worth $32 million to build the navigation payloads for the third and fourth satellites in the GPS 3 series, ITT Exelis announced in a March 20 press release.

ITT Exelis has been the payload provider for all of the U.S. Air Force’s GPS navigation, positioning and timing satellites, regardless of prime contractor. The company was part of the team led by Denver-based Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver that was selected in 2008 to build the GPS 3 satellites, which will feature improved accuracy and better resistance to jamming and other forms of interference than previous generations of GPS craft.

ITT Exelis in December announced that it had integrated and performed initial testing of a payload aboard a prototype GPS 3 satellite.

Lockheed Martin’s initial GPS 3 contract, awarded in 2008 and valued at $1.4 billion, included the first two spacecraft, the first of which is slated for launch in 2014. The Air Force recently awarded the company a $238 million contract for the third and fourth satellites in the series.