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SMC Wants to Host SATCOM Payloads on GPS 3F Satellites

GPS 3F satellite

SMC Wants to Host SATCOM Payloads on GPS 3F Satellites

The Space and Missile Systems Center wants concepts for hosting communication payloads on the GPS 3F satellites being developed by Lockheed Martin.

According to a request for information posted on SAM .gov, GPS 3F satellites are suitable for hosting additional payloads owing to their excess spacecraft weight and power margin.

SMC is considering integrating SATCOM payloads primarily with X and Ka frequency coverage into the GPS constellation, SpaceNews reported.

The targeted launch date for the first hosted payload is in 2030. Nine more vehicles could be launched in the following years.

SMC said the payloads have to be delivered for integration about a year before launch, meaning the first delivery is due in 2029. The payloads must then be operational for at least 10 to 15 years.

The Lockheed-made GPS 3F satellites are still under development and are projected to be launched in 2026. The new generation of satellites will feature the redesigned LM2100 commercial bus and are expected to provide military and civilian users with positioning, navigation and timing capabilities.

As of December 2020, the SMC already purchased 14 GPS 3F satellites from Lockheed. The aerospace company is under contract to provide up to 22 GPS 3F satellites to the space agency.

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Category: Space

Tags: Global Positioning System GPS GPS 3F RFI space Space and Missile Systems Center Lockheed Martin Space News US Space Force