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Lockheed’s Third GPS III Satellite Receives Operational Acceptance

By Rachel Jewett | August 11, 2020

SpaceX launches the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 Mission on

The newest military GPS satellite has recently received Operational Acceptance approval. Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) public affairs announced Monday that the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 received approval from the U.S. Space Force on July 27. The satellite was launched by SpaceX on June 30. 

The GPS III satellites are the newest generation built by Lockheed Martin that provide Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) information with better accuracy, and anti-jamming capability than previous generations of GPS satellites. This latest generation of GPS satellite boasts a 15-year design life — 25% percent longer than the last generation of GPS satellites on-orbit. 

“We are adding GPS warfighter capability and resiliency with each new GPS III satellite. The on-boarding of GPS III SV03 enables our first use of cross link commanding capability for assured nuclear detection. With the GPS III SV03 addition to the constellation, our modernized signals capable satellites increases to 22 vehicles. This results in nearly a fully capable Military-Code constellation, which our space warfighters will operate to deliver expanded capabilities to the joint force.” said Lt. Col. Michael Schriever, 2nd Space Operations Squadron commander.

In addition, the next GPS satellite, GPS III SV04 has been delivered to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SMC delivered the satellite on July 14, and it was announced Aug. 6. The satellite was transported from the Lockheed Martin facility in Waterton, Colorado, to Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida. It is slated to launch in September.