Boeing has decided to not put up a proposal for the next production lot of up to 22 GPS 3 satellites for the US Air Force.
“We have not put in a proposal for GPS 3,” said Rico Attanasio, Boeing’s director of Department of Defense and civil navigation and communications programs was quoted as saying by Spacenews Wednesday.
Boeing had built earlier versions of GPS satellites. Attanasio said the decision came down to “what the government asked for in the request for proposals.”
The US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center had issued a request for proposals for the production of up to 22 satellites starting in the coming fiscal year.
“When we bid on things we have to evaluate if we have a chance to win or not,” he added. “The criteria in the RFP emphasized recurring production.”
Boeing thought it could compete based on “innovation, resilience [and] a new payload, but that wasn’t emphasized,” said Attanasio. “It wasn’t a good fit for us.”
Lockheed Martin submitted a proposal for the U.S. Air Force's GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) program Tuesday.
The GPS IIIF program intends to produce up to 22 next-generation satellites. The Air Force's first 10 GPS III satellites are currently in full production at Lockheed Martin. The next production lot is expected to be for satellites 11 through 32 and worth about $10 billion.
The Air Force made it known it wanted to open up the program, awarding pre-production contracts in 2016 to Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed.
GPS III will have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than the newest GPS satellites on-orbit today. GPS III's new L1C civil signal also will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Galileo, Lockheed Martin said in a statement Tuesday.