United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, is set to launch the GPS IIF-11 mission for the US Air Force (USAF) on 30 October.
ULA’s launch system Atlas V 401 will carry out the mission from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The GPS satellites offer navigational assistance for US military operations on land, at sea, and in the air.
One of the next-generation GPS satellites, GPS IIF-11 features a number of enhancements to deliver greater accuracy, increased signals, and enhanced performance for users.
The GPS IIF satellites deliver second civil signal (L2C) for dual-frequency equipment, and a new third civil signal (L5) to support commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications.
Capable of providing jam-resistant military signals in hostile environments, the GPS IIF satellites are designed to replace the GPS Block IIA satellites, which were launched between 1990 and 1997.
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The latest launch marks the third GPS mission ULA launch in 2015, while the company launched GPS IIF-9 on a Delta IV in March and GPS IIF-10 in July.
In addition, it represents the ULA’s 11th mission in 2015 and 102nd since the company was founded in 2006.
USAF recently awarded ULA with an $882m contract to continue launching satellites with its Delta IV and Atlas V rockets.
Under the contract, ULA will deliver services that include maintenance commodities, Delta and Atlas depreciation, and provides for mission assurance, programme management and systems engineering.
Image: A poster depicting the GPS IIF-11. Photo: courtesy of United Launch Alliance, LLC.