(By Balaseshan) Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), a security and aerospace company, said it has received two fixed-price contracts totaling $120 million from the U.S. Air Force to begin work on next set of GPS III satellites.
The company will procure long lead parts for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth next generation Global Positioning System satellites, known as GPS III. The GPS III program will affordably replace aging GPS satellites while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users.
GPS III satellites will deliver better accuracy and improved anti-jamming power while enhancing the spacecraft's design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems, the company noted.
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For GPS III, the Air Force initiated a "back-to-basics" acquisition approach that emphasizes early investments in rigorous systems engineering, parts standards, and the development of a full-size GPS III satellite prototype to significantly reduce risk, improve production predictability, increase mission assurance and lower overall program costs.
Lockheed Martin is currently under contract for production of the first four GPS III satellites, and will now begin advanced procurement of long-lead components for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth satellites. The Air Force plans to buy up to 32 GPS III satellites.
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The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the GPS III prime contractor with teammates ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS), General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), Infinity Systems Engineering, Honeywell (NYSE: HON), Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE: ATK) and other subcontractors.
"The Air Force's back-to-basics acquisition strategy and the progress we have already made on our GPS III prototype gives us high confidence in our ability to perform efficient and affordable fixed-price satellite production going forward," said Keoki Jackson, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Navigation Systems mission area.
LMT is trading up 0.22% at $88.31 on Monday. The stock has been trading between $80.14 and $96.52 for the past 52 weeks.