ATK Delivers First Satellite Structures and Tanks for GPS III Satellites
12:00 AM, September 20, 2011
ATK delivered the first two A2100 composite satellite structures and the first ship set of propellant tanks for the GPS III satellites Lockheed Martin is building for the U.S. Air Force. This is the first major hardware delivery milestone in the program, which has been underway since ATK was awarded the contract from Lockheed Martin in April 2010. The contract includes the fabrication of a non-flight satellite testbed structure and the first two GPS III satellite structures. The testbed structure was delivered May 9 and the first space vehicle structure was delivered August 4. The first ship set of tanks were also delivered in early August. Each ship set includes one hydrazine, two oxidizer, and two pressurant tanks. The contract includes options for the same hardware for up to 10 additional satellites. The GPS III structure, made from lightweight, high-strength composite materials, and the propellant tanks were delivered to Lockheed Martin's Mississippi Space & Technology Center, an advanced propulsion, thermal, and metrology facility located at the John C. Stennis Space Center, for integration and testing. "The GPS III program continues to meet major milestones on or ahead of schedule, and the delivery of the core structure and propellant tanks for the first GPS III space vehicle is another achievement demonstrating this program's solid execution," said Lt Col Don Frew, the U.S. Air Force's GPS III program manager. "The joint U.S. Air Force and industry team understands the importance of GPS III and we are focused on delivering capabilities to meet the demands of more than one billion GPS users worldwide." ATK has been manufacturing A2100 structures and propellant tanks for Lockheed Martin since the satellite model was introduced in 1996 for the company's commercial satellite customers. The composite structures are manufactured at ATK's San Diego, CA facility, with support from the ATK Beltsville, MD operation, and the propellant tanks are manufactured in ATK's Commerce, CA facility.
The US Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin more than $245 million in contract options to complete production of its seventh and eighth next-generation Global Positioning System satellites, known as GPS III.
GPS III space vehicles seven...