The US Air Force’s first of 12 global positioning system (GPS) IIF satellites has entered service after successful completion of on-orbit tests.

The GPS Wing has transferred satellite control authority to the Air Force’s 50th Space Wing and the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, which will operate the satellite on its mission.

Developed by Boeing, the GPS IIF satellite will offer new and enhanced capabilities including a jam-resistant military signal and greater accuracy through improved atomic clock technology.

It will also provide a protected civilian L5 signal to aid commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications.

During on-orbit testing, the GPS IIF satellite’s L5 signal met all requirements.

Based on programme plans, the signal will remain in development status broadcasting test data until initial operational capability is declared.

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Launched on 27 May 2010, GPS IIF-1 has undergone three months of comprehensive on-orbit testing to validate its operations with the ground control system.