March 27 (UPI) -- The newest GPS III satellite arrived at Cape Canaveral, Fla., for its launch this summer, Lockheed Martin, its maker, announced on Wednesday.
The satellite, nicknamed "Magellan," arrived in Cape Canaveral on March 18 aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 plane from Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado. The satellite was built at Lockheed's GPS III facility near Denver.
Magellan will be the second GPS III satellite to be placed in orbit. The launch, expected in July, will be the final use of United Launch Alliance's single-stick Delta IV medium rocket.
The first was launched in December 2018, and is regarded as the most powerful GPS satellite ever put in space.
That satellite marked a significant step in the Air Force's modernization of the GPS constellation with new technology and capabilities. The new design has three times greater accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities over the previous GPS II satellite design block, which comprises the current GPS constellation. It is exclusively used by U.S. military forces and allies.
GPS III SV01, as it is called, is receiving and responding to commands and undergoing testing, according to Lockheed.
"After orbit raising and antenna deployments, we switched on GPS III SV01's powerful signal-generating navigation payload and on Jan. 8 began broadcasting signals," Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin's vice president for navigation systems, said in a press release. "Our on orbit testing continues, but the navigation payload's capabilities have exceeded expectations and the satellite is operating completely healthy."
Lockheed Martin is under contract to construct 10 of the satellites, with 22 more satellites, with additional capabilities, planned in the GPS III Follow-On program.
The Air Force also has 10 Wideband Global Satcom system satellites in orbit, the latest of which launched from Cape Canaveral on March 18.