[Satnews] Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has submitted an innovative proposal to the United States Air Force for the next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) III program. The Air Force is looking to update the GPS system, which has been delivering precise global position, navigation and timing services worldwide for more than two decades.
Northrop Grumman's proposal is based on a navigational payload prototype built and tested in 2015 and a heritage space vehicle, proven to operate in the harsh environment of medium earth orbit. In addition to current GPS III capabilities, the company's payload demonstrated enhanced transmission power for the military code, a critical capability for operating in regions of the world where jamming is prevalent.
"The Air Force plans to develop a new generation of GPS space vehicles that will deliver the advanced capabilities needed by military and civil users, while countering the future threat environment," said Tim Frei, vice president, communications systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "Our producible and resilient payload prototype meets these requirements. We are ready to bring this capability to the warfighter."
The Air Force plans to award up to three $5 million study contracts in the third quarter of 2016, under the GPS III Space Vehicles 11+Phase 1 Production Readiness Feasibility Assessment request for proposal. The study contracts will run for 26 months, with two additional six-month options. A competition for 22 spacecraft is anticipated in 2018.