Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin

Next Strategic Tanker

Lockheed Martin introduces the LMXT as America’s next strategic tanker – built in America by Americans for Americans. Offered in response to the U.S. Air Force’s KC-Y Program, the LMXT represents the newest chapter in Lockheed Martin’s 60+ year history of producing and delivering tanker and cargo aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and multiple operators around the world.

LMXT
Lockheed Martin Offers the LMXT for the U.S. Air Force’s KC-Y Program

The LMXT complements the U.S. Air Force’s tanker capabilities by providing the most advanced aerial refueler to meet America’s immediate and long-term mission requirements. The LMXT strengthens and expands the U.S. aerospace industrial base by working with existing and new American suppliers. The LMXT also cultivates and sustains high-tech, high-skill American manufacturing jobs.

«Lockheed Martin has a long and successful track record of producing aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, and we understand the critical role tankers play in ensuring America’s total mission success», said Greg Ulmer, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. «The LMXT combines proven performance and operator-specific capabilities to meet the Air Force’s refueling requirements in support of America’s National Defense Strategy».

The LMXT offers a proven airframe with distinct U.S. Air Force-only capabilities designed to meet operator requirements, with advantages that include:

  • Significantly improved range and fuel offload capacity;
  • A proven fly-by-wire boom currently certified and used by allies to refuel U.S. Air Force receiver aircraft in operations around the world;
  • The world’s first fully automatic boom/air-to-air refueling (A3R) system;
  • Operational and combat proven advanced camera and vision system;
  • Open system architecture JADC2 systems;
  • A multi-domain operations node that connects the LMXT to the larger battlespace, increasing onboard situational awareness to provide resilient communications and datalink for assets across the force.

The Lockheed Martin strategic tanker builds on the combat-proven design of the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). As the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin works directly to implement U.S. Air Force-specific requirements within the LMXT. As the strategic tanker of choice for 13 nations, the MRTT has logged more than 250,000 flight hours refueling U.S. and allied fighter, transport and maritime patrol aircraft in combat theater environments.

Airspace Threat Detection

As the world’s most capable and flexible ground based multi-function long-range radar, Lockheed Martin’s TPY-4 has received its official U.S. Government nomenclature – AN/TPY-4(V)1 – officially marking the radar’s maturity and its ability to deliver fully-digital technology, and therefore setting a new standard for the future of radars.

AN/TPY-4(V)1
TPY-4 is a fully digital, software-defined sensor architecture, allowing users to maintain ongoing surveillance throughout the mission (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

«Our team has worked diligently to deliver this advanced radar supporting domestic and international air surveillance requirements», said Chandra Marshall, vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin. «This designation represents our commitment to furthering our radar capabilities to specifically overmatch emerging, complex, and advanced threats».

Lockheed Martin’s specialized team has spent more than 10 years and more than $100 million in research & development funds for the TPY-4 radar, including the construction, operation, and testing of prototype radar systems. TPY-4 offers multi-mission capabilities, such as early warning, situational awareness, tactical ballistic missile surveillance and air defense. It also integrates the latest mature commercial technologies to create a revolutionary radar architecture.

 

Recent Testing Achievements

The first TPY-4 is well ahead of any competition and already in production to be unveiled later this year. The radar’s production sub-assemblies are passing environmental and performance tests, attributed to the foundation built and validated under Lockheed Martin’s investment and the commonality with the U.S. Army’s Sentinel A4 radar. The radar’s test results continue to surpass model predictions, as validated by open air testing, furthering the qualification of this advanced radar.

 

The TPY-4 Radar: A Fully Digital Solution for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Threats

TPY-4 is an internationally available, transportable, multi-mission radar that can operate in contested RF environments and provide the warfighter an ability to detect and track threats better than any previous radar available today. It accomplishes this with a fully digital, software-defined sensor architecture, allowing users to maintain ongoing surveillance throughout the mission.

That’s because the TPY-4 radar users are not locked by the system’s hardware. Users have the ability to transmit and receive digitally, allowing for more enhanced target identification and classification. Earlier radars may have some level of digitization, but Lockheed Martin’s software-defined TPY-4 radar is digital at every element and across the entire architecture. Users don’t have to account for downtime for time-consuming actions, like hardware upgrades or manual data transfers.

«Our digital transmitter and receiver architecture provides flexibility to adjust performance for evolving missions, threats, and environments», said Rick Herodes, Lockheed Martin’s Radar and Sensor System’s Ground Based Air Surveillance program director. «TPY-4 provides unprecedented flexibility through software updates without invasive or time-consuming architectural redesigns, therefore making it the most effective risk management solution for national defense».

 

Lockheed Martin Radar Family History

TPY-4 was developed to include all the experience that Lockheed Martin’s radar product family offers. The technology investments include Gallium Nitride (GaN), which Lockheed Martin has been delivering worldwide since 2017, providing greater efficiency and improved reliability as compared to legacy systems.

Lockheed Martin’s long range and medium range surveillance radars have set the industry standard for ground-based air surveillance for decades. With more than 60 years of experience developing and delivering ground-based radar solutions to its customers around the world, Lockheed Martin has a long history of high-performing, high-reliability radar systems.

X-Plane

DARPA has selected multiple performers to continue the Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) program. Aurora Flight Sciences and Lockheed Martin Corporation are now entering Phase 1, which includes system requirements development, initial design work, software development, and initial airworthiness activities that culminate in a preliminary design review.

Aurora Flight Sciences
Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company, was selected to continue to Phase 1 of DARPA’s CRANE program

«The Phase 1 researchers have completed conceptual designs of novel flight demonstration configurations with quantifiable performance benefits enabled by Active Flow Control (AFC)», said Doctor Alexander Walan, program manager for CRANE in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. «Multiple AFC technologies will continue to be matured through advanced analytical and testing activities for incorporation in relevant demonstrator designs».

One of the primary objectives of Phase 0 was the development and maturation of AFC design software and databases for inclusion in future aircraft development activities. Georgia Tech Research Corporation’s Phase 0 effort has been extended to allow further refinement of these tools for transition to relevant military and government partners.

«In addition to its role in upcoming flight test activities, AFC design software is a critical piece for the inclusion of AFC technologies in future defense and commercial aircraft designs», said Walan. «The CRANE program is in a unique position to provide a comprehensive AFC database and the associated tools to future aircraft designers. The continuation of Georgia Tech Research Corporation’s work in this area will ensure this valuable capability is successfully transitioned to the aircraft design community».

DARPA has also selected another performer, BAE Systems, to initiate a Phase 0 conceptual design activity. Phase 0 is focused on AFC trade space exploration and risk reduction activities to inform this work. Under the recent Phase 0 award, BAE Systems will evaluate the benefits of using AFC integrated into different air vehicle concepts leading to a conceptual design review.

«All of the CRANE performers are exploring unique configurations and performance objectives; this additional performer adds to the diverse concepts and technologies being matured by the CRANE program», said Walan.

Hybrid Antenna

Lockheed Martin has invented a new type of satellite dish technology with a wide range of use on satellites and ground terminals, including space-based 5G. The Wide Angle ESA Fed Reflector (WAEFR) antenna is a hybrid of a phased array Electronically Steerable Antenna (ESA) and a parabolic dish, and increases coverage area by 190% compared to traditional phased array antennas at a much lower cost.

WAEFR
Lockheed Martin Develops High-Performance, Low Cost Hybrid Antenna For 5G, Radar and Remote Sensing Applications

This antenna is part of a larger research and development investment in 5G.MIL technologies that will optimize and securely connect warfighting platforms to enable Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2). Lockheed Martin is uniquely positioned, leveraging commercial best practices, strong partnerships, a broad supply chain and leadership expertise, to bring 5G connectivity and capabilities to the defense community rapidly and affordably.

«We adopted a commercial mindset to quickly mature this technology and discovered there were multiple use cases and applications that could benefit from this new hybrid antenna», said Chris Herring, vice president of advanced program development at Lockheed Martin Space. «5G.MIL technologies like this will bring greater connectivity, faster and more reliable networks, and new data capabilities to support our customers as they navigate the complexity of 21st century battlefields».

The team rapidly prototyped, tested and validated this system in a matter of months compared to what previously took years. WAEFR also features:

  • High performance gain of a dish with the beam agility of an ESA;
  • Low Size Weight and Power (SWAP) common product solution to accommodate any orbital altitude or ground terminal application;
  • Advances in 3D-printing technology and accelerated parts production.

This type of antenna will also benefit the broader communications and ISR communities by providing a more reliable scanning solution compared to gimbaled designs.

«The primary benefit of the WAEFR approach is accomplishing more mission with fewer resources», said Thomas Hand, Ph.D., associate technical fellow at Lockheed Martin Space. «While state of the art ESA solutions can address more demanding link performance, capacity, and data rates using multiple agile analog beams, they do so at a premium».

AIR6500 Phase 1

Canberra, Australia, 5 August 2021, Lockheed Martin Australia, welcomed today’s announcement by the Minister for Defence, The Hon Peter Dutton MP, and the Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Melissa Price MP, on the Government’s official down selection of Lockheed Martin Australia, as one of the two primes selected, to participate in the Royal Australian Air Force’s AIR6500 Phase 1 Project (AIR6500-1): Competitive Evaluation Process Stage 2 (CEPS2).

AIR6500
AIR6500 will connect assets across air, land, sea, cyber and space for enhanced defence against potential threats to national security

AIR6500-1 will provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a Joint Air Battle Management System that will form the architecture at the core of the ADF’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) capability. This will provide greater situational awareness and defence against increasingly advanced air and missile threats, as well as give the ADF increased levels of interoperability with coalition partners.

Joe North, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand said, «Today’s announcement marks the next step in AIR6500-1 to work in partnership with the Australian Defence Force and industry partners to support the Royal Australian Air Force’s vision to transform the Air Force into a next-gen-enabled force through delivering a sovereign highly advanced Joint Air Battle Management System to protect Australia’s security».

«Since 2016, we have been highly committed to supporting the AIR6500-1 project. Our Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500-1 team has steadily grown over this time to over 80 Australians in Adelaide, Canberra and Williamtown».

«Critical to that effort has been our focus on proactively engaging and establishing important partnerships with Australian industry to identify and invest in ‘best of breed’ local capabilities to deliver a truly sovereign capability solution for Australia», said Mr. North.

Lockheed Martin Australia will continue partnering with industry, academia and government to develop, integrate, build, and sustain future technologies that can be integrated into an open architecture framework to support AIR6500-1. This approach will ensure innovative small to medium Australian high-tech businesses remain at the core of shaping Australia’s future defence capabilities.

«We look forward to collaborating with Australian industry and the Royal Australian Air Force to progress the AIR6500-1 solution as part of the CEPS2. We would like to congratulate Northrop Grumman for also being down selected for the CEPS2», said Mr. North.

Steve Froelich, Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500 Program Executive reflected that today’s AIR6500-1 announcement will set new standards for Joint All Domain Operations. He said «AIR6500-1 will make it possible to combine Australia’s integrated battlespace with the U.S and allied forces, ensuring greater situational awareness and increased interoperability for our military forces to combat evolving threats across the region».

Lockheed Martin Australia actively supports an Australian sovereign defence capability which sees a highly skilled workforce of over 1,200 across Australia who partner with defence and industry to deliver, integrate and sustain advanced technology solutions. In turn, our programs and projects directly support over 6,000 Australian jobs in the advanced manufacturing and high technology defence industry sector.

Christening of Nantucket

The U.S. Navy christened its newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Nantucket (LCS-27), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, August 7, in Marinette, Wisconsin.

USS Nantucket (LCS-27)
Navy christened Littoral Combat Ship USS Nantucket (LCS-27)

The principal speaker was Representative Mike Gallagher, U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 8th District. In a time-honored Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsor, Ms. Polly Spencer, broke a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«The future USS Nantucket (LCS-27) will be the third U.S. Navy ship commissioned to honor the maritime history and spirit of Nantucket», said Acting Secretary of the U.S. Navy Thomas Harker. «I have no doubt the Sailors of USS Nantucket (LCS-27) will carry on the proud legacy from generations past in preserving sea lanes, countering instability, and maintaining our maritime superiority».

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The platform is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom-variant and the Independence-variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

The first Nantucket, a Passaic class coastal monitor, commissioned on February 26, 1863. Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Nantucket participated in the attack on Confederate forts in Charleston Harbor on April 7, 1863. Struck 51 times during the valiant yet unsuccessful assault on the vital Southern port, the single-turreted monitor was repaired at Port Royal and returned to Charleston to support Army operations on Morris Island. The second Nantucket, a wooden light ship built in 1907 for the Lighthouse Service, was transferred to the Navy by executive order on April 11, 1917. During World War I, the ship continued its duties of warning vessels away from Nantucket Shoals and aided in guarding nearby waters against U-boats.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 08-03-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018 10-26-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018 08-08-2020 Mayport, Florida
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018 06-15-2019
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018 01-19-2020
USS Marinette (LCS-25) 03-27-2019 10-31-2020
USS Nantucket (LCS-27) 10-09-2019
USS Beloit (LCS-29) 07-22-2020
USS Cleveland (LCS-31) 06-20-2021

 

Freedom Variant Littoral Combat Ships enter the water in a pretty unique way

Nine additional CH-53K

A contract to build nine CH-53K King Stallion helicopters with an additional contract option for nine more aircraft was awarded to Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company on June 25.

CH-53K King Stallion
The CH-53K King Stallion in pre-Initial Operational Test and Evaluation training with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

The Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Lot 5 contract will deliver nine aircraft in 2024 as part of a 200 aircraft program of record for the U.S. Marine Corps. The Lot 5 contract contains an option for Lot 6, for an additional nine aircraft with a contract award in FY22.

«This contract award is a testament to the hard work and dedication from the team to execute this critical program in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ heavy lift requirement», said Colonel Jack Perrin, Program Manager, PMA-261 heavy lift helicopter program manager.

The Lot 5 contract is for $878.7 million, bringing the Sikorsky element of the aircraft cost of those nine aircraft to $97.6 million each. The Lot 6 aircraft cost reduces to $94.7 million each, for a Lot 6 total contract cost of $852.5 million. These costs do not include engine and other Government Furnished Equipment.

The FY21 Lot 5 and FY22 Lot 6 contracts represent an average unit airframe cost reduction of $7.4M from FY20 Lot 4 to FY22 Lot 6.

The program will start Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in July 2021 and is poised to support the Marine Corps’ declaration of Initial Operational Capability. In preparation for commencement of IOT&E, three System Demonstration Test Article aircraft are currently being operated by Marine Corps’ Operational Test and Evaluation squadron, VMX-1, at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.

«As the long-range logistic support backbone for the U.S. Marine Corps, it is essential that we get this critical capability to the fleet as quickly and as affordably as possible», said Perrin.

The Lot 5 award brings the program total aircraft, either delivered or on contract, to 33.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

Future USS Cleveland

The laying of the keel celebrates an important milestone in the life of the future USS Cleveland (LCS-31) and marks a significant event for the construction of the nation’s 31st Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The USS Cleveland (LCS-31) will be the fourth commissioned ship in naval service, since World War I, named after Cleveland, the second-largest city in Ohio and home to countless Navy and Marine Corps veterans. With the city’s deep ties to maritime service since the turn of the 20th century, LCS-31 will honor Cleveland’s longstanding naval history.

USS Cleveland (LCS-31)
A welder authenticates the keel of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 31, the future USS Cleveland, by welding the initials of the ship’s sponsor, Robyn Modly, wife of a Clevelander and former U.S. Navy Secretary, who has embraced the city as her own

«We are proud to build another proven warship that allows our Navy to carry out missions around the world. All of us at Lockheed Martin, including our hardworking team in Marinette, Wisconsin, look forward to working with the U.S. Navy to continue delivering highly capable and adaptable Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships to the fleet». – Steve Allen, Lockheed Martin Vice President of Small Combatants and Ship Systems.

«I am humbled and honored to be the sponsor of a ship that bears the name of the great city of Cleveland, with its rich and storied history of support to our armed services. I look forward to a lifelong relationship with the ship and her crew as they proudly serve the Navy and our nation». – Robyn Modly, Ship Sponsor of the future USS Cleveland (LCS-31).

«Our team at Fincantieri Marinette Marine is proud to celebrate the keel laying of the LCS-31 with the gracious citizens of Cleveland. This milestone is a testament to the power of cooperation and forward thinking by the entire Freedom Team and our customer, the United States Navy. It also bears witness to all the dedicated craftsmen and women working in our FMG system of shipyards». – Jan Allman, CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine

The Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship is a resilient, flexible warship, designed from the keel up to affordably take on new capabilities including advanced sensors, missiles and cutting-edge cyber systems. Its speed, strength and versatility make it a critical tool to help sailors achieve their missions.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 08-03-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018 10-26-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018 08-08-2020 Mayport, Florida
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018 06-15-2019
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018 01-19-2020
USS Marinette (LCS-25) 03-27-2019 10-31-2020
USS Nantucket (LCS-27) 10-09-2019
USS Beloit (LCS-29) 07-22-2020
USS Cleveland (LCS-31) 06-20-2021

 

GPS III Space Vehicle

The fifth Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite designed and built by Lockheed Martin is now headed to its orbit 12,550 miles/20,197 km above earth. This marks another step in supporting the U.S. Space Force’s GPS satellite constellation modernization efforts.

GPS III SV-05
The fifth Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite at Lockheed Martin’s production facility prior to its June 17 launch

Launched earlier today, GPS III Space Vehicle 05 (GPS III SV05) is the latest next-generation GPS III satellite, a warfighting system owned and operated by the Space Force. GPS III SV05 will be the 24th Military Code (M-Code) signal-enabled GPS space vehicle on orbit, completing the constellation’s baseline requirement to provide our military forces a more-secure, harder-to-jam and spoof GPS signal.

GPS III satellites provide significant capability advancements over earlier-designed GPS satellites on orbit, including:

  • Three times better accuracy;
  • Up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities; and
  • A new L1C civil signal, which is compatible with international global navigation satellite systems, like Europe’s Galileo, to improve civilian user connectivity.

«With GPS III SV05, we continue our focus on rapidly fielding innovative capabilities for the Space Force’s Positioning, Navigation and Timing Mission», said Tonya Ladwig, Lockheed Martin vice president for Navigation Systems. «With each satellite we bring to orbit, we help the U.S. Space Force to modernize the GPS constellation’s technology and to imagine future capability. Our next three satellites, GPS III SV06, SV07 and SV08, are already complete and just waiting for a launch date».

About 90 minutes after a 12:09 p.m. ET liftoff from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, in Florida, U.S. Space Force and Lockheed Martin engineers at the company’s Denver GPS III Launch & Checkout Operations Center declared GPS III SV05 separated from its SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and «flying» under their control.

In the coming days, GPS III SV05’s onboard liquid apogee engine will continue to propel the satellite towards its operational orbit. After it arrives, engineers will send the satellite commands to deploy its solar arrays and antennas, and prepare GPS III SV05 for handover to Space Operations Command.

Part of U.S. critical national infrastructure, GPS drives an estimated $300 billion in annual economic benefits and is responsible for $1.4 trillion since its inception. Globally, more than 4 billion military, civil and commercial users depend on GPS’ positioning, navigation and timing signals.

Lockheed Martin is part of the GPS III team led by the Space Production Corps Medium Earth Orbit Division at the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base. The GPS Operational Control Segment sustainment is managed by the Enterprise Corps, GPS Sustainment Division at Peterson Air Force Base. The 2nd Space Operations Squadron, at Schriever Air Force Base, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

Hypersonic Strike System

The Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman team successfully conducted a significant live fire hypersonic strike system test in support of the U.S. Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) and U.S. Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) programs.

LRHW
Lockheed Martin successfully tests Navy’s Hypersonic Strike System

In this live fire ground test of the first stage solid rocket motor, the motor fired for the full trial duration and met performance parameters and objectives within anticipated ranges.

«We’re pleased to celebrate this important event with the U.S. Navy, Army and Northrup Grumman. This outcome today is due to our shared effort and determination to see this test on the Conventional Prompt Strike program succeed», said Steve Layne, Program Director of Conventional Strike Programs at Lockheed Martin. «This live fire event is a major milestone on the path to providing hypersonic strike capability to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army warfighters».

Northrop Grumman developed the motor and Lockheed Martin serves as the prime weapon systems integrator to provide boost capability to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army hypersonic strike missile.

«Northrop Grumman is proud to leverage our expertise in flight-proven solid rocket propulsion to support the nation’s efforts to develop an advanced end-to-end missile system capable of deterring emerging and future threats», said Charlie Precourt, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman.

CPS is a hypersonic boost glide missile and weapon system that enables long range flight with high survivability against enemy defenses. CPS and LRHW share a common all up round that can be launched from surface ships, submarines, and land-based mobile launchers. The U.S. Department of Defense has made developing hypersonic strike systems a top mission priority and Lockheed Martin’s investment in hypersonic innovation dates back more than 30 years.