The second Global Positioning System Block IIA satellite on Monday reached 20 years on orbit. It’s still functioning as part of the current 31-satellite GPS constellation. The Air Force and its industry partners launched GPS Block IIA-11 (SVN-24) into space on July 4, 1991; USAF cleared it for use on Aug. 31, 1991. SVN-24 follows SVN-23 (Block IIA-10) in achieving the milestone of 20 years in space. The latter entered the realm on Nov. 26, 1990. Both have functioned on orbit nearly three times longer than the 7.5-year design life of the Rockwell-built (now Boeing) Block IIA spacecraft. The current GPS constellation consists of: 11GPS Block IIAs, 12 Block IIRs, 7 Block IIR-Ms, and the first Block IIF satellite. The second IIF spacecraft is on track to launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., on July 14. (Los Angeles release)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.