The US Air Force has declared Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite available for Launch.
The Air Force's "AFL" declaration is the final acceptance of Lockheed Martin's first GPS III Space Vehicle (GPS III SV01) prior to its expected 2018 launch. GPS III SV01 will bring new capabilities to US and allied military forces, and a new civil signal that will improve future connectivity worldwide for commercial and civilian users, Lockheed Martin said in a press statement Tuesday.
GPS III SV01 is the first space vehicle of an entirely new satellite design. GPS III is a next generation technology and capability leap over any of the 31 GPS Block II satellites that currently populate today's operational GPS constellation.
Significant work has already been completed on future requirements like an accuracy-improving Laser Retro-reflector Array and a Search and Rescue payload. With all major development risks behind them, the company is now in full production on ten GPS III satellites at its GPS III Processing Facility near Denver.