[Satellite TODAY 06-01-12] Lockheed Martin
has been awarded a $68 million contract from the U.S. Air Force
to provide mission readiness, launch, early orbit checkout and on-orbit operations engineering support for the first two GPS 3 spacecraft, the company announced May 31.
Lockheed Martin will provide technical support to the Air Force’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS) and monitor the health and performance of the first two GPS 3 satellites through their 15-year operational life cycles. The deal also contracts Lockheed Martin to provide the launch and checkout functionality required to meet availability for the first satellite in 2014.
The first and second GPS 2 satellites will be available for launch in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
“The GPS 3 flight operations contract, along with launch and checkout capability, will better synchronize our GPS control and space segments to support the first launch of a GPS 3 satellite and ensure mission success,” U.S. Air Force Capt. and GPS 3 Launch Operations Lead Alex Rawling said in a statement. “We are focused on delivering the critical GPS 3 capabilities to users as efficiently and affordably as possible.”