Despite having lost a $1.8 billion, winner-take-all development contract for the next generation of GPS satellites to Lockheed Martin five years ago, Boeing officials say that they are not out of the precision-timing and navigation business.
The company is continuing payload work on its own dime, says Craig Cooning, vice president of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems, even as work wraps up on its GPS IIF satellite production line this year. After technical problems over the years and a transition to fixed-price purchasing with the U.S. Air Force, Boeing was unable to generate desired revenue from the IIF program. GPS IIF was “not really” profitable, Cooning acknowledged. But, the precision-navigation and timing satellite market is worth billions of dollars, and the company is keen on finding opportunities to stay in it.