Boeing [BA: NYSE:] announced the formation of a Global Positioning System (GPS) III best of industry team that includes two European Union companies. The Boeing team is pursuing the U.S. Air Force's next generation GPS III development contract slated for award in early 2006.
"Combining experience and extensive GPS knowledge, our industry team has the capability to define the development, fielding and operation of the next generation global positioning satellites for the Air Force," said Mike Rizzo, director of Navigation Systems for Boeing. "I'm confident our international team will offer flexible "best of industry" solutions to the customer."
The Boeing GPS III team includes ITT, Lockheed Martin IS&S, Raytheon Aurora, Raytheon Fullerton, Harris Corp., Sun Microsystems, BAE systems, General Dynamics, SRI, Trimble, L3 Communications and Rockwell Collins, and international members Alcatel Space of France and Alenia Spazio of Italy.
"The formation of this world class team enhances our ability to work with the Air Force, support the warfighter and define the future," said John Fuller, executive director of Boeing Air Force Space Systems. "We have a rich heritage with the GPS program, and our international team will provide the impetus to develop next generation GPS technology for the customer."
In January 2004, Boeing was one of two competing industry teams awarded $20.8 million GPS III contracts to perform a comprehensive 24-month Phase A continuation study. A production contract is expected to be awarded in early 2006, with the first GPS III satellite launch slated for 2012.
While vying for the next generation GPS III, Boeing is currently under Air Force contract to build at least twelve GPS IIF satellites. The GPS IIF satellites have improved anti-jam capability and substantially increased accuracy from earlier satellite versions. According to Air Force plans, the first GPS IIF launch is scheduled for mid-2006.
Boeing also has heavily invested in the GPS operational control segment and recently dedicated the Boeing GPS Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The center will facilitate the development, integration, testing and sustainment of the control segment hardware and software for all versions of GPS satellites. The Space and Missile Systems Center manages the GPS program through a joint program office at Los Angeles AirForce Base, Calif.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 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.