Deliver sustained, reliable GPS capabilities to America’s warfighters, our allies and civil users. GPS provides positioning, navigation and timing service to civil and military users worldwide. 



In May 2008, the first GPS III increment contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin for the development and production of two initial space vehicles (SVs), with options for up to ten additional SVs.  



GPS III SVs will introduce new capabilities to meet higher demands of both military and civilian users. It brings the full capability to use M-Code in support of warfighter operations. GPS III nominal M-Code capability exceeds maximum GPS IIF and GPS IIR M-Code capability (Flex power without P(Y) code). It expands international cooperation in the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) arena by fielding the L1C signal interoperable with Galileo, Quazi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) and other GNSS systems. GPS III is needed to complete the deployment of L2C and L5 signal capabilities that began with the modernized GPS IIR-M and GPS IIF satellites. Using an incremental approach, new capabilities that require technical maturity or have greater risks of being properly integrated are deferred to the later increments, ensuring low risk and high confidence delivery of capabilities.    


     GPS III Program on contract

  • Development of 2 GPS III SVs

  • Ground pathfinder and simulators

  • Completed space vehicle Integrated Baseline Review, Preliminary Design Review, Critical Design Review and obtained Milestone C approval

  • SVs 03-10 currently in production


     Air Force “Back to Basics” Acquisition

  • Rigorous systems engineering

  • Reinvigorated specifications and standards

  • Low risk capability insertion





  • Improved anti-jam

  • Improved accuracy

  • Improved Integrity

  • First satellite to broadcast common L1C signal compatible with Galileo

  • Multiple civil/military signals:  L1 C/A, L1 P(Y), L1M, L1C, L2C, L2 P(Y), L2M, L5

  • +10dB earth coverage power increase on M-Code without diminishing power to other military signals

  • Three rubidium clocks



  • GPS III SV01-10

  • SV05+ Standardized Modular Assembly with Reliable Technology (SMART) Solar Array Modernization

  • SV08+ Lithium-Ion Battery Insertion




  • Orbit:  Six orbit planes at 55 degree inclination

  • Altitude:  10,898 nautical miles

  • Design life:  15 years, 12-years mean mission duration

  • Launch weight:  8,115 lb

  • On-Orbit weight:  4,764 lb

  • Size:  97 in wide, 70 in deep, 134 in high

  • Position accuracy:  0.63 meter, with continuous updates from the control segment 


PRIME CONTRACTOR:  Lockheed Martin







GPS IIIF (Follow-On) in concert with the GPS III program, comprises the next generation of space vehicles (SVs) that provide significant enhancements to modernize the constellation originally delivered under the Navstar GPS program. GPS IIIF, will deliver GPS III satellites beyond the first ten SVs being delivered by the GPS III program. The GPS IIIF program was approved in December 2017.




GPS IIIF SVs (11-32) will introduce new capabilities to meet increased demands of both military and civilian users. While the program will maintain the technical baseline of GPS III SVs 01-10, the program looks at reducing the overall size, weight, and power required to satisfy the positioning, navigation, timing and Nuclear Detonation Detection System (NDS) mission areas with a redesigned NDS. It also looks to bring aboard new capabilities by hosting a Search and Rescue GPS payload designed to assist with the global search and rescue mission area. It enables precision ranging measurements by hosting a Laser Retro-Reflector array. It will address the consolidation of telemetry, tracking, and commanding frequencies by enabling compliance with the Unified S-Band capabilities. Finally, the program will look to address increased anti-jam capabilities for the military with a  Regional Military Protection capability.




(Current as of April 2018)