LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) — The Air Force and its mission partners successfully launched the tenth Boeing-built Global Positioning System IIF satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, at 11:36 a.m. EDT.
“Today’s successful launch is a testament to the outstanding teamwork of government and industry partners’ commitment to mission success,” said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the Space and Missile Systems Center commander. “The GPS IIF satellites are critical for GPS constellation global service for years to come. Thanks to the men and women of SMC, the 45th, 50th, 310th Space Wings, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, the Aerospace Corporation, the GPS IIF, and the Atlas V launch teams, we are sustaining and modernizing the world’s greatest space-based, precise positioning, navigation and timing service.”
The Boeing-built GPS IIF satellites provide improved signals to support both the warfighter and the growing civilian needs of our global economy. The GPS IIF satellites will provide improved accuracy through advanced atomic clocks, a longer design life than previous GPS satellites, and a new operational third civil signal (L5) that benefits commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications. It will also continue to deploy the modernized capabilities that began with the GPS IIR satellites, including a more robust military signal.
Operated by Air Force Space Command, the GPS constellation provides worldwide positioning and navigation support seven days a week, 24 hours a day. 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the GPS System achieving full operational capability.
AFSC’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the Air Force’s center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.