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Oct 15, 2007

Modernized GPS Satellite Ready for Launch

The newest Block IIR GPS satellite is ready for launch October 17th, Lockheed Martin announced today. The satellite will be launched on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems, is the prime contractor for the United States' GPS Block IIR program.

This satellite is the fourth in a series of eight satellites designated Block IIR-M, that were modernized to enhance operations. They feature the L2C signal, the second civilian signal on the L2 carrier. While GPS receivers have been manufactured to receive the L2C signal, with only three satellites in orbit, this feature has been limited. Improvements for the military reportedly include a more jam-resistant signal and features that enable better targeting of GPS-guided weapons in hostile environments.

The firm is locked in multi-billion dollar competition with Boeing to develop and build the next generation GPS satellites for the U.S. military.

See also: GPS III Decision Delayed Until December
Lockheed Martin Delivers Last GPS Satellite