The company said in a statement Monday that each of its new Global Positioning System IIR-M satellites now carries an upgraded antenna panel that gives them boosted signal power when they transmit to stations on the ground.
The new satellites -- three of which have been successfully launched and deployed in the past six months -- are also equipped to transmit two new military signals to increase their accuracy. They also carry new improved encryption/coding and anti-jamming equipment, Lockheed Martin said.
The GPS satellites are equipped with a second civil signal that will give users an open access signal on a different frequency, the company said.
The Global Positioning System gives its users the capability to ascertain the exact time, speed and location of their vehicles, including precise details on their latitude, longitude and altitude to within a few yards, the company said. The U.S. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron -- 2 SOPS -- directs and runs the system of orbiting GPS satellites for both their civilian and armed forces clients.
Lockheed Martin said it was heading an industry team with other leading members ITT and General Dynamics to seek the contract to construct the U.S. Air Force's next-generation Global Positioning System, GPS Block III.
This next generation of GPS orbiting satellites will be designed to boost its capabilities to fix locations, provide navigation and offer timing services for U.S. war fighters, allies and civilian clients around the globe. It will also offer further developed anti-jamming capabilities that will provide upgraded system security, accuracy and reliability, the company said.
The U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is expected to make its decision on awarding that contract in the next few months.