Boeing, Lockheed competing for huge US Air Force deal

Lockheed Martin and Boeing will compete this spring for a multibillion-dollar contract to supply the US Air Force with up to 32 next-generation global positioning satellites, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the US Air Force will replace 24 satellites in orbit with a new system, called Global Positioning System III, that is intended to improve navigation by air, land and sea and be more difficult for enemies of the US military to disable.

Both Lockheed and Boeing already supply the Air Force with satellites, the report said.

The Pentagon is expected to seek bids for the first phase of the contract in mid-to-late March and announce a single winning team by late August, Candrea Thomas, a spokeswoman for the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, was quoted by Associated Press as saying.

The first phase of the contract, according to the Air Force, will be for 8 satellites to be delivered by 2013. The second phase is for another 8 satellites by 2016, and the third phase is for another 16 satellites by 2019, the report said.