The Air Force and its industry partners on Saturday launched, GPS IIF-2, the second Global Positioning System Block IIF satellite, into space aboard a Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. “I am extremely proud of the tremendous efforts that hundreds of people on the launch team have expended for today’s launch,” said Col. Bob Hodgkiss, the GPS IIF-2 mission director. This spacecraft is expected to be available for navigation users worldwide next month, according to Air Force space officials. Boeing is under contract to build 12 Block IIF satellites for the Air Force. The first one, IIF-1, went into orbit in May 2010 and has been operational since last summer. Block IIF satellites are designed to provide greater navigation accuracy to users and have more robust military and commercial signals. (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.