Space Force Prepares to Launch Fifth GPS III Satellite
The US Space Force will launch the fifth GPS III-enabled satellite in June 2021. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
GPS III SV05 will be horizontally integrated with the first-ever SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle to be reflown for a National Security Space Launch mission.
The fifth Lockheed Martin-built GPS III Space Vehicle (GPS III SV05) has been shipped to Cape Canaveral in preparation for a June 2021 launch, the US Space Force (USSF) announced on 21 April.
It added: ‘SV05 will be horizontally integrated with the first-ever SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle to be reflown for a National Security Space Launch (NSSL) mission.’
Once in orbit, GPS III SV05 will be the 24th satellite in the 31 GPS-satellite constellation capable of broadcasting the GPS Military Code (M-Code) encrypted signal that enhances anti-jamming and anti-spoofing capabilities.
This is significant as 24 M-Code enabled satellites will bring M-Code to full operational capability.
Eight older GPS IIR satellites are in orbit without M-Code.
As part of our promise to deliver comprehensive coverage to our Defence Insight and Premium News subscribers, our curated defence news content provides the latest industry updates, contract awards and programme milestones.