Lockheed to tackle next-generation GPS design review for Air Force

Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $50 million contract from the Air Force to conduct a system design review for the next-generation NAVSTAR Global Positioning System space segment program.

The next-generation program, known as GPS Block III, will address changing military and civil needs around the globe, including advanced anti-jam capabilities and improved system security, accuracy and reliability, Lockheed Martin said. The program ultimately will enhance space-based navigation and performance and set a new standard for global positioning and timing services.

The company recently finished a GPS III system requirements review under a $10 million follow-on contract to a 2004 Phase A Concept Development contract. The current contract will further assist the government in defining its approach to the space segment specification. The Air Force's Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., plans to award a multibillion dollar development contract in 2007.

GPS is a space-based radio-positioning systems consisting of a "constellation" of more than two dozen satellites that revolve around the earth providing continuous coverage to military and civilian users worldwide who use the technology to determine the position of people and objects on the earth's surface. The orbit of these satellites is choreographed in such a way that every coordinate on the globe is covered by multiple satellites at any given time.

Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., has about 140,000 companies and had annual sales of $37.2 billion in fiscal 2005. The company ranks No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of the largest federal IT contractors.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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