Air Force Grants $7.2 Billion Contract for 22 Global Positioning System Satellites

Editorials News | Sep-17-2018

Air Force Grants $7.2 Billion Contract for 22 Global Positioning System Satellites

On September 14, 2018, Friday, the US Air force declared to grant a 7.2 billion dollars contract to Lockheed Martin so as to manufacture 22 global positioning system satellites. Secretary of Air Force Heather Wilson remarked that the new range of GPS Satellite shall prove to be more resistant to interference and electronic attacks.

These satellites are believed to be more resilient as they are capable of exhibiting higher accuracy and enhanced anti-jamming capacities. This contract is for the satellites known as GPS 3 follow on or GPS 3F. Secretary Wilson believes that the present world of technological advancements is highly and crucially dependent upon GPS. In its day to day functioning the Air Force involves the operation of a total of 77 satellites. These satellites are indulged in tasks like communications, command and control, missile warning, nuclear detonation detection, weather and GPS. The chief of staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein remarked that this investment of 7.2 billion dollar shall definitely help the Air Force in becoming technologically advanced in the future. Although there is absence of competition yet the government is prevented from overpaying. This deal reflects that the contactor and not the tax payer in any way would be responsible for any cost overruns. Despite the fact that there is only one bidder, the presence of various policies ensures that a great deal is cracked. The government on the other hand is also crucially involved in cost estimations and legal cost reviews irrespective of no matter how many offers have been received. The fulfillment of this contract is expected to complete in time. The schedule for GPS 3F has been shortened by 5 months by removing an extra layer of reviews and speeding up of source selection process. As per estimations, the first GPS 3F satellite shall launch in 2026. It is important to finish the production of GPS satellites in time because the current constellation of 31 GPS 2 satellites in orbit will be required to be replaced.

By: Anuja Arora