The Software Item Qualification Testing for the satellite's spacecraft bus flight software -- critical to controlling the spacecraft on orbit and monitoring satellite's subsystems -- was completed and the software will soon be integrated and tested on the first GPA III satellite.
"Completion of this flight software milestone demonstrates our continued positive program momentum and is another step forward in reducing risk up front to facilitate long-term affordability," said Lt. Col. William 'Todd' Caldwell, the U.S. Air Force's GPS III program manager.
"In this challenging budget environment, the entire government and industry team is focused on delivering the critical GPS III satellites affordably and efficiently for users worldwide."
A total of 131 events were part of the Software Item Qualification Testing, which brought to a close the risk reduction and development phase of software engineering.
The GPS III program to replace aging GPS satellites with enhance systems that will feature better accuracy, anti-jamming capabilities and a civil signal for better interoperability between military and civilian systems.
Lockheed Martin is on contract to deliver the first four GPS IIIs but the Air Force is planning for 32 of the satellites.
Lockheed Martin is the primary contractor for GPS III. Its team members include ITT Exelis, General Dynamics, Infinity Systems Engineering, Honeywell, ATK and others.