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Lockheed Martin OK’d for GPS satellite components

Lockheed Martin has received the go-ahead from the Air Force to begin acquiring components for four new GPS III satellites.

The company said Monday it received two fixed-price contracts totaling $120 million to start the process.

Lockheed Martin is already under contract to build the first four GPS III satellites. Production is under way at its Space Systems unit near Denver.

The new contract is for parts for the fifth through eighth satellites.

GPS III satellites are designed to improve the accuracy of military and civilian receivers to within three feet, compared with 10 feet now. Additional signals for civilian receivers will offer more precision and make more navigation satellites available.

The Air Force plans to purchase up to 32 GPS III satellites.

Lockheed Martin is based in Bethesda.