Boeing [NYSE: BA] this month successfully completed a critical Global Positioning System (GPS) Space Segment III System Design Review, supporting the U.S. Air Force's requirement for a low-risk, high-confidence acquisition solution.
During the review, Boeing demonstrated the technical readiness of its GPS III payload design that will allow the Air Force to field and upgrade GPS satellites quickly and cost effectively. This solution, combined with signal power improvements, provides a more capable GPS service for civilian and military users.
"We clearly showed the technical maturity and backward compatibility of our flexible and scalable design for the Air Force," said Charles Toups, vice president, Boeing Navigation and Communication Systems, a unit of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "We designed the GPS III system to be scalable so the design of the first spacecraft can gracefully grow to accommodate future capability upgrades without requiring an entirely new spacecraft design. This approach greatly reduces costly and time intensive re-qualification and shortens the development time to deploy new capabilities."
The Air Force is expected to award the multi-billion dollar GPS III contract soon in order to meet a projected launch need in 2013. Boeing's "back-to-the-basics" space system acquisition plan positions Boeing and the Air Force to move forward with detailed design development and, eventually, GPS III production.
GPS III will provide improved navigation and timing accuracy and broadcast more powerful signals that are less vulnerable to jamming. It also will incorporate a new civil signal that is interoperable with Europe's upcoming Galileo system. Boeing's adaptable GPS III design allows the government to provide enhanced position, navigation and timing information while effectively managing lifecycle costs.
Boeing is working closely with the U.S. Air Force to deliver new, advanced GPS capabilities to the military, civil government and general public as early as possible. This includes Boeing's current production of 12 GPS Block IIF satellites under a contract from the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles. Boeing will deliver the first GPS IIF satellite in 2008.