During a ribbon cutting ceremony today, Boeing [NYSE: BA] dedicated its new Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF assembly, integration and test facility here at Boeing Satellite Systems.
Boeing is under contract with the U.S. Air Force to build three GPS IIF satellites with a potential for up to 12 satellites. Engineering for the new satellite is currently underway at Boeing's Seal Beach, Calif., facility, and assembly of the first IIF satellite bus will begin here in early 2004.
"This is an important step in a collaborative effort involving Boeing employees from the Seal Beach and El Segundo facilities, along with our Air Force customer team," said Mark Weltman, vice president of operations for Boeing Satellite Systems. "By bringing the GPS assembly, integration and testing to El Segundo, Boeing is demonstrating its commitment to Boeing Satellite Systems as its Enterprise Capability Center for satellite manufacturing."
As an Enterprise Capability Center, the site supports several Boeing Integrated Defense Systems customer-facing business units including; Launch and Satellite Systems, Naval Systems, NASA Systems, and Air Force Systems.
"We regard the GPS IIF a top priority program and vital to our national security," said John Fuller, executive director of Boeing Air Force Space Systems. "The talented people and specialized facilities we have in El Segundo will allow us to produce spacecraft that fully meet our Air Force customer's requirements." Boeing has a long, distinguished heritage with the GPS program that dates back to 1974, when the contract for the first Block I satellite was awarded. Boeing subsequently produced a total of 40 GPS satellites that included Block II and IIA, of which the IIA satellites form the majority of the current GPS constellation. Boeing won the Block IIF contract in April 1996.
The GPS program is managed by a Joint Program Office at the U. S. Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.
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Integrated Defense Systems is one the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.