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Fifth GPS IIR-M satellite deployed in record time

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January 20, 2008

January 21, 2008 The fifth satellite in the GPS System Block IIR-M series was declared fully operational for international military and civilian navigational earlier this month following a record-setting on-orbit deployment that lasted only three days. The satellite was launched by a joint U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin team from Cape Canaveral on December 20 last year, and includes new features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe.

January 21, 2008 The fifth satellite in the GPS System Block IIR-M series was declared fully operational for international military and civilian navigational earlier this month following a record-setting on-orbit deployment that lasted only three days. The satellite was launched by a joint U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin team from Cape Canaveral on December 20 last year, and includes new features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe.

The current 30-spacecraft constellation contains 12 operational Block IIR satellites and four IIR-M satellites, two of which have been launched in the past two months. Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.

The Global Positioning System enables properly equipped users to determine precise time and velocity and worldwide latitude, longitude and altitude to within a few meters. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2 SOPS) manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

"After launch, our aim was to achieve a new level of performance for our Air Force customer by allowing another sophisticated GPS IIR-M satellite to begin service as quickly and efficiently as possible,"said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Navigation Systems. "This record-setting on-orbit achievement - as well as the overall success of the GPS IIR-M program - is a great testament to the close collaboration and partnership between the Lockheed Martin and Air Force team."

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