The Air Force and Boeing completed on-orbit checkout and validation of the sixth Global Positioning System IIF navigation satellite, announced the company on Wednesday. The Air Force and its industry partners launched this satellite into space in May. With this testing done, Boeing has reached the halfway mark in delivering GPS IIF satellites to the Air Force, states the company’s June 25 release. “We have built all 12 GPS IIF satellites using our advanced production processes, with the spacecraft ready to launch on request by the Air Force,” said Craig Cooning, the company’s vice president for space and intelligence systems. “We’re also continuing to work with the Air Force to improve the efficiency of our final checkouts before launch and on orbit, ensuring each GPS IIF enters operation smoothly and quickly,” he said. The next GPS IIF is scheduled for launch into orbit later this year, states the release.?
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.