Lockheed Martin has completed construction of the second GPS III satellite intended for use by the US Air Force (USAF).
The GPS III SV02, which is said to have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities, will now undergo environmental testing.
Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems vice-president Mark Stewart said: "Now fully-integrated, GPS III SV02 will begin environmental testing this summer to ensure the satellite is ready for the rigours of space.
"This testing simulates harsh launch and space environments the satellite will endure, and further reduces any risk prior to it being available for launch in 2018."
According to the company, eight more GPS III satellites are moving through production flow at Lockheed Martin's GPS III Processing Facility near Denver, Colorado, US.
The GPS III SV03 recently completed initial power on of its bus, which contains the electronics that operate the satellite, Lockheed stated.
The satellite is being fitted with major electronics as it nears its initial power on.
More than 250 suppliers in 29 states are supplying components for the next six satellites, GPS III SV05-10, and over 70% of parts and materials for SV05-08 have been received to date.
The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.
The Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, US, is responsible for managing and operating the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.
Image: GPS III is in full production, with ten satellites under contract, at Lockheed Martin's GPS III Processing Facility near Denver, Colorado, US. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin / Flickr.