[Via Satellite 12-18-2014] Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises for the U.S. Air Force’s next generation GPS 3 satellite and Operational Control System (OCX). Exercise 4 demonstrated new automation capabilities, information assurance, and launch readiness for the satellite, as well as the end-to-end capability to automatically transfer data between Raytheon’s OCX and Lockheed Martin’s GPS 3 satellite. One additional readiness exercise, five launch rehearsals and a mission dress rehearsal are planned prior to launch of the first GPS 3 satellite with OCX.
GPS 3 satellites will deliver three times better accuracy, provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities, and include enhancements that extend spacecraft life to 15 years, 25 percent longer than the newest Block 2F satellites. GPS 3 will be the first generation of GPS satellite with a new L1C civil signal designed to make it interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems. The first GPS 3 satellite is currently undergoing integration and testing, with final space vehicle delivery planned for late 2015.
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