With today’s launch of the fourth GPS IIF satellite, Boeing and the U.S. Air Force continue modernizing the Global Positioning System that millions of people worldwide rely on as a navigation and timing resource.
The IIF offers improved navigational accuracy and anti-jamming resistance, along with a stronger military signal and longer design life. Boeing has been a prime GPS contractor since the first satellite launched in 1978, and has made 41 of the 63 GPS satellites sent into orbit to date.
Today’s launch, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, occurred at 5:38 p.m. Eastern time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Approximately three hours and 25 minutes later, Boeing personnel in El Segundo confirmed that the satellite was performing as expected.
This was the first GPS IIF launch on an Atlas V and the first under the Launch and On-Orbit Support contract that Boeing received from the Air Force in late 2012. The Air Force will declare the satellite operational after checkout is completed.
Boeing is on contract for 12 IIF satellites. The first three, launched in 2010, 2011 and 2012, are performing well. Of the remaining eight, Boeing will complete three this year, while five others are ready for call-up and launch as needed.