[SatNews] The U.S. Air Force and its mission partners successfully launched the ninth Boeing-built Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV launch vehicle from Space Launch Complex 37B, Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida. At 2:36 p.m. EDT.
"I'm elated with today's successful launch. The GPS constellation remains healthy, strong and robust, and, in over 20 years since initial operational capability, GPS has never failed to deliver on its global positioning, navigation, and timing commitments," said Brig. Gen. William Cooley, director of Space and Missile Systems Center's Global Positioning Systems Directorate. "Each new generation of GPS satellites provides enhanced capability over the prior generations, and has delivered reliable performance demonstrating our commitment that GPS remain the Gold Standard space-based positioning, navigation and timing service for the future," he said. "Thanks to the men and women of SMC, the 45th, 50th and 310th Space Wings, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, The Aerospace Corporation, GPS IIF and Delta IV launch teams, the GPS IIF program continues to meet GPS enterprise needs."
The Boeing-built GPS IIF satellites provide improved signals that will enhance the precise global positioning, navigation and timing services supporting both the warfighter and the growing civilian needs of our global economy. The GPS IIF satellites will provide improved accuracy through advanced atomic clocks, a longer design life than previous GPS satellites, and a new operational third civil signal (L5) that benefits commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications. It will also continue to deploy the modernized capabilities that began with the GPS IIR satellites, including a more robust military signal.
GPS provides critical capabilities to our nation's civil, commercial and military operations. Operated by U.S. Air Force Space Command, the GPS constellation provides precise positioning, navigation and timing services worldwide seven days a week, 24-hours a day.
Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.