WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to spend $2 billion over the next five years on a new constellation of Global Positioning System satellites that will be hardened to withstand electronic interference from hostile nations.
In a solicitation for bids posted Feb. 13, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced it will “conduct a full and open competition” for the production of 22 GPS 3 satellites starting in fiscal year 2019.
The Air Force already has ordered 10 GPS 3 satellites from Lockheed Martin Corp. The new program that is now getting underway is to acquire an improved version of the satellite, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters on Tuesday.
“The GPS 3 that we are moving toward is more jam-resistant, and it is intended to be able to operate in a contested environment,” Wilson said.
A production contract to build GPS satellites is considered one of the most lucrative opportunities today in the military space world. A 22-vehicle deal could be worth as much as $10 billion. Lockheed Martin will likely be challenged by competitors like Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Proposals are due April 16.
The Pentagon’s new budget request includes $451.9 million in research, development, testing ...