<!--intro-->The U.S. Air Force today awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems one of two industry contracts valued at $16 million each to start a 12-month System Architecture and Requirements Definition (SARD) study for the next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) program referred to as GPS III. <!--/intro--> The Lockheed Martin GPS III team comprises a broad range of industrial partners including ITT Industries as the navigation payload provider, Rockwell Collins as provider of user equipment for both military and civil needs, and the Ball Aerospace Systems Group for technical expertise in space and ground components. The objective of the SARD study will be to evolve military and civilian needs into performance and architectural concepts that optimize cost, schedule, performance and risk for the future system. Upon the completion of this study, the Air Force will conduct an open competition and award two contracts for the subsequent 26-month Program Definition/Risk Reduction (PDRR) phase. The single winner of the PDRR phase will be awarded responsibility for the GPS III Engineering, Manufacturing and Development of the program, as well as the sustainment of all existing GPS space and ground elements. "This is an extremely significant win for Lockheed Martin and the entire GPS III team," said Len Kwiatkowski, Lockheed Martin Vice President, Military Space Programs. "The Lockheed Martin GPS III team will now move forward in partnership with the NAVSTAR Joint Program Office towards achieving its goal of ensuring decision superiority to the Warfighter and promoting economic benefits to civil and commercial enterprises. We are committed to providing our customer the best value GPS architecture and acquisition solution available." The Global Positioning System allows any user equipped with a GPS receiver to determine velocity and worldwide position within a few meters. Both position data and velocity are given at a precise reference time. Although originally designed as a guidance and navigational tool for the military, GPS has proven beneficial in the fields of transportation and surveying, commercial aviation, and search/rescue operations. GPS also continues to enable the creation of new user market opportunities for the commercial and civil sectors. As envisioned, key objectives of the GPS III system include: <ul><li>The addition of two-new high power spot beam military-code (M-code) signals to the L-1 and L-2 channels that provide Warfighters with significantly enhanced anti-jam capability to meet battlespace needs <li>The addition of two new civilian channels that provide three higher power navigation signals for civilian use in local, regional and national safety-of-life applications for improved position, navigation and timing knowledge <li>Simplification of the GPS ground control architecture </ul> Lockheed Martin Space Systems has been a leading architect of end-to-end systems development for the past 50 years. Today, the company is the nation's provider of GPS IIR satellites and is also the largest provider of GPS enabled weapons as well as a major participant on the GPS ground Operational Control Segment. For GPS III, the company has leveraged its extensive experience on the GPS IIR program and has enlisted experts from industry, academia and the international community to define best value architectures for this critically needed system. Additionally, by developing requirements and creating risk mitigation and technology insertion plans, Lockheed Martin is poised to create an affordable, reliable and robust GPS III architecture for the nation. It continues to explore constellation architectures that improve performance and maintain continuity of service while assuring the flexibility to insert technologies that are now in the concept phase and addressing the challenges of backward compatibility and affordability. Lockheed Martin's Sunnyvale, Calif. operations are part of its Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, CO. It is a leading supplier of satellites to military, civil government and commercial communications organizations around the world. These spacecraft have enhanced military and civilian communications; provided new, extensive and timely weather data; studied the Earth and space; and furnished new data for thousands of scientists studying our planet and the space around it. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md, Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics, and technology services.