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Feb 24, 2007

GPS III Bid Process About to Begin

The U.S. Department of Defense is expected to seek bids for the first phase of its GPS III contract in mid-to-late March. A single winning team will be named by late August, Fobes quoted a spokeswoman for the Air Force as saying. Defense contractors Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. will vie for the multibillion-dollar contract to supply the Air Force up to 32 next-generation global positioning satellites.

Global Positioning System III, will replace 24 satellites currently in orbit. The new system has a number of new features designed to improve navigation as well as make it more difficult for enemies of the U.S. to disable.

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The first phase of the contract, according to the Air Force, will be for eight satellites to be delivered by 2013. The second phase is for another eight satellites by 2016, and the third phase is for another 16 satellites by 2019.

The overall cost of the new satellite system has yet to be determined. However, based on the Bush administration's proposed budget for fiscal years 2008-2013, roughly $4.26 billion has been designated to GPS III for research and development funding. That figure excludes procurement funding.

Both Lockheed and Boeing have already received roughly $85 million from the Air Force for initial planning and development for the first phase of the contract, according to Maj. Regina Winchester, a Pentagon-based spokeswoman for the Air Force. The department will complete its cost evaluation this spring.

See Also:
Commerce Dept. Announces Plans For GPS Upgrade
Air Force Considers Outsiders for GPS Work