Latest GPS Satellite Good to Go
The latest GPS Block II satellite launched by the United States on October 17, has been declared fully operational. The announcement came after a successful on-orbit checkout by a combined U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin team.
The satellite, designated GPS IIR-17M, is the fourth in a series of eight Block IIR-M satellites built by the defense contractor. These latest satellites feature a a stronger signal, two new military signals, a second civilian channel as well as enhanced encryption and anti- jamming capabilities for the military.
This is the fourth IIR-M satellite in orbit. In total, the U.S. GPS satellite constellation currently numbers 28. A fifth Block IIR-M satellite is scheduled for launch on December 20.