GPS Block IIIF

Summary

GPS Block IIIF
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Country of originUnited States
OperatorUnited States Air Force
ApplicationsSatellite navigation
Specifications
BusLockheed Martin A2100M [1]
Design life(TBD)
RegimeSemi-synchronous MEO
Production
StatusDevelopment
Built0
On order22 [2]
Maiden launch2026 (planned)[3]
Last launch2034 (planned)[4]
Related spacecraft
Derived fromGPS Block III

GPS Block IIIF, or GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF), is the second set of GPS III satellites, consisting of 22 space vehicles. The United States Air Force began the GPS Block IIIF acquisition effort in 2016, and awarded a US$7.2 billion manufacturing contract for all 22 space vehicles to Lockheed Martin on 14 September 2018.[2][4][5][3] The 22 satellites in Block IIIF are projected to be delivered starting in 2026, with launches estimated to last through at least 2034.[3][4]

Development

The U.S. Air Force employed a two-phase competitive bid acquisition process for the GPS Block IIIF satellites.

Phase One: Production Feasibility Assessment

On 5 May 2016, the U.S. Air Force awarded three Phase One Production Readiness Feasibility Assessment contracts for GPS III Space Vehicles (SV's) 11+, one each to Boeing Network and Space Systems, Martin Space Systems Company, and Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.[5][6] The phase one contracts were worth up to six million dollars each.[7] During the phase one effort, both Boeing and Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrated working navigation payloads.[8]

Phase Two: Satellite Manufacturing

On 19 April 2017, the US Air Force Space Command announced the start of the second phase of its acquisition strategy with the publication of a special notice for an "Industry Day" for companies planning on bidding for the contract to manufacture GPS III vehicles 11+.[7] During the Industry Day event, the Air Force shared the tentative acquisition strategy which it will use to evaluate proposals, then solicited feedback from potential bidders.

In July 2017, the Deputy Director of the U.S. Air Force GPS Directorate stated the acquisition strategy for GPS Block IIIF would be to award the manufacturing contracts for all 22 Block IIIF satellites to the same contractor.[9]

In November 2017, the Deputy Director of the US Air Force's GPS Directorate announced the name of the second tranche of GPS III satellites was "GPS Block IIIF".[10]

Also in November 2017, it was announced that development of the fully digital navigation payload for GPS Block IIIF satellites had completed.[11] The Block IIIA program schedule was delayed multiple times due to issues with the navigation payload.[12][13]

Bidding

While the Air Force originally expected to publish the formal Request For Proposals (RFP) for GPS Block IIIF production in September 2017, it was not released until 13 February 2018.[3][14] The RFP was for a firm-fixed price (FFP) contract for a single company to manufacture all 22 space vehicles.[3] All three participants from phase one (Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman) were believed to be likely to submit proposals.[7] The government held a pre-proposal conference in El Segundo, California, to be held on 15 March 2018 for potential bidders to ask the Air Force questions about the solicitation.[3] The submission deadline for proposals was 12:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on 16 April 2018.[3]

The bid status of companies who participated in phase one, in alphabetical order:

  • Boeing: declined to submit a proposal [15]
  • Lockheed Martin: submitted a proposal [15]
  • Northrop: declined to submit a proposal [2]

Contract Award

On 14 September 2018, the Air Force awarded a US$7.2 billion manufacturing contract to Lockheed Martin.[2]

Funding

Procurement funds for GPS Block IIIF satellite manufacturing will be allocated from the federal budget, starting with Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18).[16]

New characteristics

The Air Force has identified four "technology insertion points" for GPS Block IIIF. These four points are the only four times during the block's lifecycle where new capabilities will be allowed to be introduced to Block IIIF satellites.

Technology Insertion Point 1 (estimated FY2026)

  • First Space Vehicle: GPS IIIF-01
  • Proposed/possible new functionality:
    • On Orbit Reprogrammable Digital Payload [17][18]
    • High Power Amplifiers (SSPA's) [18]
    • Regional Military Protection (RMP) [19]

Technology Insertion Point 2 (estimated FY2028)

  • First Space Vehicle: GPS IIIF-07
  • Proposed/possible new functionality:
    • M-Code Space Service Volume [20]

Technology Insertion Point 3 (estimated FY2030)

  • First Space Vehicle: GPS IIIF-13
  • Proposed/possible new functionality:
    • Near Real-Time Commanding
    • Advanced Clocks [18]

Technology Insertion Point 4 (estimated FY2033)

  • First Space Vehicle: GPS IIIF-19
  • Proposed/possible new functionality:
    • TBD

Satellites

The 22 GPS Block IIIF satellites are scheduled for launch between FY2025 and FY2034.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "GPS-3F (Navstar-3F)". space.skyrocket.de. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Lockheed Awarded US$7.2 billion GPS IIIF Contract". Inside GNSS. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "GPS IIIF Request For Proposal (RFP)". fbo.gov. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2018. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ a b c d Gleckel, Gerry (15 November 2017). "GPS Status and Modernization Program". gps.gov. U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 1 December 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ a b "Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center Awards Global Positioning System III Space Vehicles 11+ Phase 1 Production Readiness Feasibility Assessment Contracts". U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Public Affairs (8 January 2016). "SMC releases RFP for GPS III Space Vehicles 11+ Phase 1 Production Readiness Feasibility Assessment". Retrieved 2 December 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ a b c Divis, Dee Ann (27 April 2017). "Door Open to New Bidders as Air Force Moves Closer to GPS III Buy". insidegnss.com. Gibbons Media & Research. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  8. ^ Capaccio, Anthony (2 November 2017). "Air Force Plans US$10 Billion GPS III Contest Amid Lockheed Delays". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  9. ^ Divis, Dee Ann (17 July 2017). "GPS Official: Expect One Follow-on GPS III Contractor, Tech Insertion Points". insidegnss.com. Gibbons Media & Research. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  10. ^ Divis, Dee Ann (22 November 2017). "Next Tranche of GPS Satellites to be called GPS IIIFs". insidegnss.com. Gibbons Media & Research. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Harris Completes Development of Fully Digital Navigation Payload for Future GPS III Satellites". 9 November 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  12. ^ "GPS III Payload Facing Delays". gpsworld.com. North Coast Media. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  13. ^ Gruss, Mike (14 September 2016). "Lockheed Martin says first GPS 3 satellite delayed until December". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  14. ^ Divis, Dee Ann (16 January 2018). "Industry Awaits GPS III RFP As Delays Mount". insidegnss.com. Gibbons Media & Research. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  15. ^ a b Devis, Dee Ann (18 April 2018). "Boeing Declines to Bid on GPS III". insidegnss.com. Gibbons Media & Research. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  16. ^ Divis, Dee Ann (15 February 2016). "GPS III Budget Slashed as Air Force Shifts Money to Fix Delayed OCX". insidegnss.com. Gibbons Media & Research. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  17. ^ "On-Orbit Reprogrammable Digital Waveform Generator (ORDWG) for the GPS Spaceccraft Navigation Payload". govtribe.com. US Air Force Research Lab. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2018. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  18. ^ a b c "Advanced GPS Technologies". gps.gov. US Air Force Research Lab. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2018. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  19. ^ "Military GPS Receiver Advances Could Help Trim Satellite Costs". Inside GNSS. June 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  20. ^ Bauer, Frank (11 June 2015). "GPS Space Service Volume (SSV) Ensuring Consistent Utility Across GPS Design Builds for Space Users". gps.gov. Retrieved 10 November 2018. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.