L3Harris delivers navigation payload for USAF GPS III satellite

L3Harris Technologies has delivered its eighth navigation payload to Lockheed Martin for the US Air Force’s Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite programme

L3Harris delivers navigation payload for USAF GPS III satellite
L3Harris delivers navigation payload for USAF GPS III satellite

L3Harris delivers navigation payload for USAF GPS III satellite

L3Harris Technologies has delivered its eighth navigation payload to Lockheed Martin for the US Air Force’s Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite programme. Harris is under a contract to provide ten navigation payloads. The navigation payload for the GPS III system consists of a mission data unit (MDU) with unique 70% digital design.

The MDU is designed to link atomic clocks, radiation-hardened processors and powerful transmitters. The USAF’s GPS modernisation programme is aimed at providing signals three times more accurate than the ones on existing GPS satellites. L3Harris is supporting the programme with the payload.

The payload enables increased signal power, which leads to an eight-fold increase in jamming resistance and extended satellite lifespan. ULA has launched the second GPS III satellite for the USAF from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, US, on 22 August.

Lockheed Martin has already integrated payloads supplied by L3Harris in the fourth, fifth and sixth GPS III satellites currently in production and testing. The USAF selected Lockheed Martin in September for a production contract for up to 22 GPS IIIF satellites.

L3Harris, which is Lockheed Martin’s navigation signal partner for the GPS IIIF programme, developed a fully digital MDU for the GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) programme. The new payload design for the GPS IIIF is more powerful and will help increase the satellite’s capabilities and performance.

L3Harris won a contract in January to provide navigation signals for the first two satellites under the GPS IIIF programme. In June, Harris completed its planned merger with L3 Technologies to create defence firm L3Harris.