The Air Force’s second Global Positioning System Block IIF satellite has arrived at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., for its launch this summer, service officials announced. A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket is scheduled to carry the Boeing-built timing and navigation satellite into space in late June. It will join the first GPS Block IIF spacecraft and some 30 other GPS satellites of earlier vintage already working on orbit. The first Block IIF satellite commenced operations last August. The performance of its atomic clock “is the best seen on orbit,” according to service officials. The Air Force plans to procure up to 12 Block IIF satellites from Boeing and then move on to Lockheed Martin’s Block III design. (Includes Los Angeles 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.