Originally launched between 1997 and 2009 to add capabilities to the GPS constellation and to replace other aging satellites, the 12 GPS IIR and eight IIR-M satellites have maintained an unprecedented availability record of 99.96 percent. That represents only 10 minutes of down time per satellite during all their years of operation.
This is a tremendous GPS operations and sustainment performance milestone, and we applaud the men and women of the
This spring, the IIR-M satellites played a major role in the continued modernization of the GPS constellation. To help manufacturers develop and test next generation advanced civil GPS receivers, under the direction of Air Force Space Command and in collaboration with the
Making these milestones even more significant is the fact that the GPS IIR and IIR-M satellites were designed to last 7.5 years, or collectively about 150 years. All 12 IIR satellites are currently operating beyond their design life with the oldest operating for more than 16.5 years. Three of eight GPS IIR-M satellites have surpassed their expected life span and all satellites will have done so in 2017.
To meet evolving GPS user demands,
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