Lockheed Martin has completed work on the final modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR satellite and is preparing to ship it from its assembly facility in King of Prussia, Penn., to Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. for its scheduled launch in June, the company announced April 3. The spacecraft is the eighth Block IIR satellite that Lockheed Martin modified to the Block IIR-M configuration with the addition of features to enhance the strength and accuracy of the GPS navigation signals. This final satellite also hosts a demonstration payload that will transmit a new civil signal, known as L5, that will be included in future blocks of GPS satellites. “The entire team is proud of this historic milestone and our partnership with the Air Force on what has been a highly successful program with many technical innovations,” said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Navigation Systems. Lockheed Martin built a total of 21 Block IIR satellites; ITT supplied the navigation payloads. The Air Force launched the sixth Block IIR-M satellite into orbit March 15.
Lessons from the KC-46 and F-35 will prove useful for the testing community in the years to come, said Nickolas Guertin, the nominee to be director of operational test and evaluation for the Pentagon, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Oct. 19.