CARPINTERIA, Calif., April 18 (UPI) -- More self-deploying, monopole JIB antennas for U.S. GPS satellites will be produced by Northrop Grumman under a Lockheed Martin follow-on award.
The number of systems from Northrop's Astro Aerospace business unit number 48 and will be used on GPS-III satellites under development by Lockheed.
The on-orbit U.S. GPS satellite constellation of more than 24 spacecraft is operated by the U.S. Air Force.
"The GPS constellation is a key U.S. asset used by millions around the globe every day," said Astro Aerospace General Manager John Alvarez. "The antennas we supply are designed to help Lockheed Martin and the Air Force meet affordability and mission assurance goals for the next generation of GPS satellites.
"GPS III will improve position, navigation and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability."
Northrop's JIBs come in monopole diameters of a half-inch to 1 3/8 inches and lengths to as much as 25 feet.
Northrop, which has supplied JIB assemblies for GPS-II, IIF and IIR satellite configurations, supplied 16 units for the first two GPS-IIIs in 2011.