Lockheed team wins FAA navigation work

A Lockheed Martin Corp. team has received a $34 million Federal Aviation Administration contract to design and develop ground stations needed for the next phase of a satellite navigation system for airplanes.

The contract for work on the FAA's Wide Area Augmentation System could be worth nearly $600 million if all options for additional services are granted, the company and FAA said today.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin is working with Boeing Co. and Raytheon Corp. on the system, which will use global positioning satellites and ground reference stations to provide more accurate instrument navigation and landing guidance at thousands of airports and landing strips across the country.

The Rockville, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management unit will provide ground stations that gather GPS data and technology to send that information to communications satellites that, in turn, will relay it to receivers in airplanes. Boeing of Chicago will do work on uplink communications, and Raytheon of Lexington, Mass., will work on navigation services, Lockheed Martin said.

The initial work is expected to take up to two years. FAA is testing WAAS for instrument-flight-rule navigation.

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