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Posted 6/3/2014 Printable Fact Sheet
An artist's concept of the next-generation GPS III global position system satellite in orbit above the Earth. (U.S. Air Force graphic)
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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 (SVs), with options for up to ten additional SVs.


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 and 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
o Development of 2 GPS III SVs
o Ground pathfinder and simulators
o Completed space vehicle Integrated Baseline Review, Preliminary Design Review, Critical Design Review and obtained Milestone C approval
o Capability insertion program for GPS III SVs 09-32

· Air Force "Back to Basics" Acquisition
o Rigorous systems engineering
o Reinvigorated specifications and standards
o Low risk capability insertion

· Production options
o Exercised 3 long-lead options and 2 production options for 4 SVs (3-6)
o 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

· Search and Rescue GPS rideshare payload
o Enables global search and rescue
· Laser Retro-Reflector Array rideshare payload
o Enables precision ranging measurements
· Unified S-Bands
o Enables compatibility with AFSCN
· Affordable regional M-Code power
o 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

Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin

(Current as of March 2014)

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