The two major agencies signed a Global Positioning System (GPS) sustainment agreement that will ensure the navigation capabilities relied upon by millions of military and commercial users remain robust for years to come.
Under the agreement, Boeing will support GPS IIA and IIF satellites for the US Air Force currently on orbit for the next five years. Boeing, which has been the prime GPS contractor for more than 40 years, is now part of the Air Force effort that may lead to the next generation of GPS satellites. The Block IIA satellites are not currently in service, but some are kept as back-ups in case there is an issue with more modern additions to the constellation.
BlockIIF is the newest part of the constellation, with the last satellite launched in 2016. It currently transmits the bulk of GPS signals used by the military and civilians worldwide.
“This agreement continues Boeing’s strong legacy of GPS innovation and mission support,” said Dan Hart, vice president, Government Satellite Systems. “We are focused on delivering reliable, affordable and resilient GPS capability now and for generations to come.”
Collectively, Boeing GPS satellites have accrued more than 550 years of on-orbit operation. In March 2016, the company delivered its 50th GPS satellite on orbit to the Air Force and has built more than two-thirds of the GPS satellites that have entered service since 1978.