(NSI News Source Info) NEWTOWN, Pa., - May 22, 2009: The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force's next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) spacecraft, known as GPS III, has successfully completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) phase, a major program milestone that allows the team to begin the Critical Design Review (CDR) stage. Lockheed Martin, Newtown, PA., along with teammates ITT, Clifton, NJ., and General Dynamics of Gilbert, AZ., completed a comprehensive spacecraft segment PDR, which represented the culmination of 70 subsystem and assembly PDRs, executed over the past six months. Nearly 150 representatives from the U.S. Air Force Global Positioning Systems Wing and user communities, including representatives from the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Space Command, the Department of Transportation, and the Federal Aviation Agency participated in the four day Space Vehicle PDR at Lockheed Martin Space Systems facilities in Newtown, Pa. Completion of the PDR milestone validates that the design meets warfighter and civil requirements and advances the GPS III program into the Critical Design Review phase. "The on-schedule completion of the PDR phase is an important design milestone giving the U.S. government high confidence we’ll meet our worldwide performance commitments," said Col. Dave Madden, the U.S. Air Force GPS Wing Commander. "Our progress is the result of a strong government-industry team focused on mission success and delivering the much-needed capabilities that GPS III will provide to users around the globe." GPS III will improve position, navigation and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability. The team is working under a $3 Billion Development and Production contract awarded in May 2008 to produce up to 12 GPS IIIA satellites, with first launch projected for 2014. The next generation GPS IIIA satellites will deliver significant improvements over current GPS space vehicles, including a new international civil signal (L1C) and increased M-Code anti-jam power with full earth coverage for military users. "The quality of the PDR demonstrates the maturity of our design, our readiness to enter the next development phase, and the entire team's dedication to keeping the GPS constellation strong," said Dave Podlesney, Lockheed Martin's GPS III program director. "We look forward to an efficient and thorough CDR phase, and delivering on our commitment to achieve mission success for our customer and GPS users world-wide." Through precision location and timing information, the GPS constellation provides critical situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military and supports a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions – including air traffic control, ATM banking, and the Internet. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
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