Lockheed has successfully completed the US Air Force (USAF) next-generation global position system, GPS III, first flight software integration.

The GPS team has successfully integrated the initial flight software builds and flight-like computer processors for the satellite bus on-board computer (OBC), the navigation payload mission data unit (MDU) and the communications payload thin communications unit (TCU).

The test demonstrated the ability to communicate between the GPS III satellite bus, network communications and navigation elements.

The GPS III flight software will be integrated on the GPS non-flight satellite testbed (GNST), the programme’s ground pathfinder and vehicle demonstrator for the first complete GPS III satellite.

The GPS constellation provides critical situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military and a broad range of civil, scientific and commercial functions.

Lockheed, along with ITT and GD, are under a contract to deliver the first two GPS IIIA spacecraft with the first spacecraft scheduled for delivery in 2014.