The second Lockheed Martin [LMT]-made GPS III satellite has been sealed up and is ready for its scheduled July 25 launch, the company said July 8.

Lockheed Martin Space and United Launch Alliance (ULA) completed the satellite’s encapsulation in its launch fairings June 26, and the system – dubbed “Magellan” by the Air Force – will soon be mounted to a ULA Delta IV rocket in anticipation of the launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. It will be the final payload to ride on the Delta IV “Medium-plus” configuration, the service has previously noted (Defense Daily, March 21). ULA is a joint venture formed by Lockheed Martin and Boeing [BA].

Lockheed Martin’s 2nd GPS III satellite encapsulated. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The first GPS III satellite launched last December aboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. Lockheed Martin is on contract to build 32 GPS III and GPS III Follow-On satellites for the Air Force, which will make up the next generation of the globally employed position, navigation and timing satellites. Thirty-one GPS satellites are currently operational.

The service has deemed the third GPS III satellite “available for launch” as of May 27, Lockheed Martin said Monday. A launch date has not yet been set. Johnathan Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for navigation systems, said in a statement that GPS III space vehicles 4, 5 and 6 are all fully assembled and in various stages of testing, while the seventh and eighth vehicles are being built up at the component assembly level at the company’s Denver facilities.