Lockheed Martin has completed a system design review of the US Air Force's next generation Global Positioning System Space Segment programme, known as GPS Block III.

The  five-day system design review, part of a $49 million contract awarded in November 2006, validated the detailed design of the GPS Block III system to ensure it meets military and civil user requirements.

The USAF is expected to award a multi-billion dollar development contract to a single contractor team later this year. The GPS Block III satellites are designed to enhance space-based navigation and have new advanced anti-jam capabilities and improved system security, accuracy and reliability.

"We are extremely pleased with the government participation and the successful outcome of this important review and stand ready to proceed with the next development phase of the GPS III programme," says Lockheed Martin Space Systems' executive vice president Joanne Maguire.

More than 100 representatives from the US department of defense, including members of the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center, Space Command and Strategic Command, as well as the department of transportation and US Federal Aviation Administration attended the review.

Lockheed has previously worked on the USAF's Block IIR GPS satellites, designing and building them in partnership with ITT and General Dynamics. Lockheed is again working with ITT and General Dynamics for GPS Block III.

Source: FlightGlobal.com