EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Boeing said Monday the first of 12 Global Positioning System IIF satellites it's building for the U.S. Air Force has entered service after months of testing.
GPS IIF-1, the newest of the 31-satellite GPS constellation, will provide accurate navigation, positioning and timing information to more than 1 billion military and civilian users around the world, Boeing said.
"Boeing has built 40 of the 61 GPS satellites launched since 1978 and GPS IIF is a great addition to that long legacy," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. "These satellites make a difference by adding new levels of power and precision to GPS services.
"The IIF series will be the backbone of the constellation for the next 12 to 15 years."
The GPS IIF-1 was launched into orbit in late May and has been undergoing testing to validate its operations with the ground control system, other GPS satellites and a wide range of military and commercial GPS ground receivers.
With testing complete, satellite control authority has officially transferred to the Air Force 50th Space Wing and the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, which will operate the satellite.