Boeing proposes new GPS system

Boeing is preparing a response to a call for proposals from the US Air Force for the development and production of an enhanced constellation of GPS satellites known as GPS III.

The proposal, due for 27 August, could result in a $1.8bn contract for the first eight Block A GPS III satellites with an option for an additional four.

The contract would be awarded by the end of this year, in preparation for a 2013 launch.

‘GPS III will further evolve navigation and positioning capabilities,’ said Howard Chambers, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. ‘Boeing’s GPS III solution combines signal and power improvements to provide a more capable GPS service for both civilian and military users.’

GPS III will incorporate a new civil signal that will make it interoperable with Europe’s upcoming Galileo system, advanced anti-jamming capabilities and the M-code military signal, which provides more secure operations in the military field.

Boeing has so far produced 43 GPS satellites for Block I, II, IIA and the current IIF series. It says that its flexible and scalable GPS III design allows for future capability upgrades while minimising life cycle costs.