A long line of tenacious competitors is forming to bid on the US Air Force's multibillion-dollar upgrade plan for the current Global Positioning System, with major players Lockheed Martin
squaring off for the next generation of GPS
satellites. The lucky winning bidder will be responsible for construction of eight new GPS III satellites, which will be deployed for use in 2013. Additionally, the Air Force has opened the door for bidders on its ground-based GPS system (GPS OCX, which will utilize existing satellites) and is expected to choose two of three interested parties for the $160 million development contracts. Apparently, the industry is sweet on the Air Force for splitting the space and ground contracts, and instating a relatively new practice which allows companies to bid directly with the government (as opposed to subcontractors). Way to "aim high," everyone.