PARIS, June 14 /PRNewswire/ --

Paris Air Show -- The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) team developing the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) III program has entered the Critical Design Review (CDR) stage on-schedule, an extensive phase that precedes production of the next-generation satellite system.

Over the next year, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Newtown, Pa., along with industry partners ITT, Clifton, N.J., and General Dynamics of Gilbert, Ariz. will conduct 70 individual CDRs for key GPS III spacecraft subsystems, assemblies and elements. The phase will culminate in the fall of 2010 with a final Space Vehicle CDR that will validate the detailed GPS III design to ensure it meets warfighter and civil requirements.

Our GPS III team continues to execute on schedule, on budget, and is rapidly moving forward in the Critical Design Review stage of this vitally important program, said Dave Podlesney, Lockheed Martin's GPS III program director. We look forward to an efficient and thorough CDR focused on operational excellence and mission success for our customer and GPS users worldwide.

GPS III will improve position, navigation and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability. The next generation GPS IIIA satellites will deliver significant improvements over current GPS space vehicles, including a new international civil signal (L1C) and increased M-Code anti-jam power with full earth coverage for military users.

Through precision location and timing information, the GPS constellation provides critical situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military and supports a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions - including air traffic control, ATM banking, and the Internet. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

The Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. awarded the Lockheed Martin-led team a Development and Production contract valued up to US$3.5 billion in May 2008. The contract to produce the first two GPS IIIA satellites, with first launch projected for 2014, also includes options for up to 10 additional spacecraft.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of US$42.7 billion.

Media Contacts: Steve Tatum, +1-408-742-7531; e-mail,

Low- and high-resolution JPEG image files of GPS III satellites are available at:

Steve Tatum of Lockheed Martin, +1-408-742-7531,