The Air Force’s program to design and manufacture the first 12 Global Positioning System block IIIA satellites will cost slightly more than $4 billion, the Pentagon has told Congress. The cost estimate for the GPS Block IIIA program, which will now serve as the baseline point from which future changes will be measured, is included for the first time in DOD’s Aug. 18 list of selected acquisition reports. Lockheed Martin beat out Boeing in May for the rights to build these advanced navigation and timing satellites. The Air Force expects the first launch around 2014. Also notable is that the new SARs reflect, for the first time, the reduced cost of the C-5 reliability enhancement and re-engining program after its restructure. Previously an $11.1 billion modification program for all 111 C-5s, now only 52 aircraft will be upgraded for an estimated cost of $7.7 billion, almost a 31 percent decrease, according to DOD.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.