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Air Force declares second GPS III satellite ready to launch

By
Stephen Carlson
The U.S. Air Force said its second GPS III satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, is ready for launch. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
The U.S. Air Force said its second GPS III satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, is ready for launch. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force said its second GPS III satellite is built, completely tested and ready to launch.

The Air Force declaration, detailed in a Lockheed Martin news release Tuesday, calls for final acceptance of the company's GPS III Space Vehicle 2.

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The satellite will be used by U.S. and allied military forces. It includes a civil signal system for use by commercial and civilian users. GPS III SV02 is awaiting launch in the Lockheed Martin GPS III Processing Facility clean room in Denver.

"The first GPS III satellite, GPS III SV01, was declared 'Available for Launch' in September 2017. It is now being prepared for shipment to Cape Canaveral, Florida for a launch before the end of the year," Lockheed Martin program manager for Navigation Systems Johnathon Caldwell said in a statement.

"With two GPS III satellites now ready for launch, and the third GPS III expected to be ready by early next year, we're building strong momentum. These satellites will soon begin modernizing the current GPS constellation with new capabilities and more advanced technology," Caldwell said.

Lockheed is planning on building 10 of the satellites for a new GPS constellation of satellites. The first in the series is being prepared for launch as of last June, according to the Air Force. To date, more than 90 percent of parts and materials for all 10 satellites under contract have been received.

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Lockheed Martin has submitted a proposal to build up to 22 additional satellites to enhance capabilities for the GPS constellation.

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