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Deliver sustained, reliable GPS capabilities to America's warfighters, our allies and civil users. GPS provides positioning, navigation and timing service to civil and military users worldwide.


In May 2008, the first GPS III increment contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin for the development and production of two initial space vehicles, with options for up to ten additional space vehicles.


GPS III space vehicles will introduce new capabilities to meet higher demands of both military and civilian users. It brings the full capability to use M-Code in support of warfighter operations. GPS III nominal M-Code capability exceeds maximum GPS IIF/IIR M-Code capability (Flex power without P(Y) code). It expands international cooperation in the Global Navigation Satellite System GNSS arena by fielding the L1C signal interoperable with Galileo, Quazi-Zenith Satellite System and other GNSS systems. GPS III is needed to complete the deployment of L2C and L5 signal capabilities that began with the modernized GPS IIR-M and GPS IIF satellites. Using an incremental approach, new capabilities that require technical maturity or have greater risks of being properly integrated are deferred to the later increments, ensuring low risk and high confidence delivery of capabilities.

· GPS III Program on contract

Development of 2 GPS III SVs

Ground pathfinder and simulators

Completed space vehicle Integrated Baseline Review, Preliminary Design Review, Critical Design Review and obtained Milestone C approval

Capability insertion program for GPS III SVs 09-32

· Air Force "Back to Basics" Acquisition

Rigorous systems engineering

Reinvigorated specifications and standards

Low risk capability insertion

· Production options 

Exercised 1 long-lead option and 1 production option for 2 SVs (3 and 4)

Options for 8 production vehicles


· Improved anti-jam
· Improved accuracy
· First satellite to broadcast common L1C signal compatible with Galileo
· Multiple civil/military signals: L1 C/A, L1 P(Y), L1M, L1C, L2C, L2 P(Y), L2M, L5
· +10dB earth coverage power increase on M-Code without diminishing power to other military signals
· Three rubidium clocks


GPS III SV 01-08
· Increased accuracy
· Increased M-Code Earth coverage power
· Additional civil signal (L1C)
· Improved integrity

· Digital Waveform Generator
Allows signal flexibility to modulate L-Band Carrier

· Search and Rescue GPS rideshare payload
Enables global search and rescue

· Laser Retro-Reflector Array rideshare payload
Enables precision ranging measurements

· Unified S-Bands
Enables compatibility with AFSCN

· Potential Additional Capability

· Real time command and control cross links
Allows satellite uploads via single contact
Improves constellation accuracy

· Affordable regional M-Code power
Provides increased anti-jam capability for the military


Orbit: Six orbit planes at 55 degree inclination
· Altitude: 10,898 nautical miles
· Design life: 15 years, 13-years MMD
· Launch weight: 8,115 lb
· On-Orbit weight: 4,764 lb
· Size: 97 in wide, 70 in deep, 134 in high
· Position accuracy: 0.63 meter, with continuous updates from the control segment