Artist's impression of a Block IIF GPS satellite in orbit
Country of originUnited States
OperatorUnited States Air Force
ApplicationsSatellite navigation
Launch mass1,633 kg (3,600 lb) [1]
Power1952 watts (end of life) [1]
RegimeSemi-synchronous MEO
Design life12 years (planned)
StatusProduction completed
On order0
Maiden launchGPS IIF SV-1
28 May 2010, 03:00 UTC
Last launchGPS IIF-12
5 February 2016, 13:38 UTC
← GPS Block IIR GPS Block III

GPS Block IIF, or GPS IIF is an interim class of GPS (satellite) which were used to bridge the gap between previous Navstar Global Positioning System generations until the GPS Block III satellites became operational. They were built by Boeing, operated by the United States Air Force, and launched by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) using Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV).[2] They are the final component of the Block II GPS constellation to be launched. On 5 February 2016, the final Block IIF satellite was successfully launched, completing the series.

The spacecraft have a mass of 1,633 kg (3,600 lb) and a design life of 12 years. Like earlier GPS satellites, Block IIF spacecraft operate in semi-synchronous medium Earth orbits, with an altitude of approximately 20,460 km (12,710 mi), and an orbital period of twelve hours.

The satellites supplement and partially replace the GPS Block IIA satellites that were launched between 1990 and 1997 with a design life of 7.5 years.[3] The final satellite of the Block IIA series was decommissioned on 09 October 2019.[4] The operational constellation now includes Block IIR, IIRM, IIF and III variants.

Because the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles are more powerful than the Delta II, which was used to orbit earlier Block II GPS satellites, they can place the satellites directly into their operational orbits. As a result, Block IIF satellites do not carry apogee kick motors. The original contract for Block IIF, signed in 1996, called for 33 spacecraft. This was later reduced to 12, and program delays and technical problems pushed the first launch from 2006 to 2010.[5]

New characteristics

Launch history

Overall, 12 GPS Block IIF satellites were launched, all of which are currently operational:

GPS Block IIF satellites
Satellite USA designation Launch date
Rocket Launch site Status Notes Ref.
GPS IIF-1 USA-213 28 May 2010, 03:00 Delta IV-M+(4,2), s/n D349 Cape Canaveral, SLC-37B In service [6][7][8]
GPS IIF-2 USA-232 16 July 2011, 06:41 Delta IV-M+(4,2), s/n D355 Cape Canaveral, SLC-37B In service [9]
GPS IIF-3 USA-239 4 October 2012, 12:10 Delta IV-M+(4,2), s/n D361 Cape Canaveral, SLC-37B In service This launch came shortly before the 10th anniversary of the inaugural Delta IV launch. [10]
GPS IIF-4 USA-242 15 May 2013, 21:38 Atlas V 401, s/n AV-039 Cape Canaveral, SLC-41 In service [11][12]
GPS IIF-5 USA-248 21 February 2014, 01:59 Delta IV-M+(4,2), s/n D365 Cape Canaveral, SLC-37B In service [13]
GPS IIF-6 USA-251 17 May 2014, 00:03 Delta IV-M+(4,2), s/n D366 Cape Canaveral, SLC-37B In service [14]
GPS IIF-7 USA-256 2 August 2014, 03:23 Atlas V 401, s/n AV-048 Cape Canaveral, SLC-41 In service [15][16]
GPS IIF-8 USA-258 29 October 2014, 17:21 Atlas V 401, s/n AV-050 Cape Canaveral, SLC-41 In service [17][18]
GPS IIF-9 USA-260 25 March 2015, 18:36 Delta IV-M+(4,2), s/n D371 Cape Canaveral, SLC-37B In service [19]
GPS IIF-10 USA-262 15 July 2015, 15:36 Atlas V 401, s/n AV-055 Cape Canaveral, SLC-41 In service [15]
GPS IIF-11 USA-265 31 October 2015, 16:13 Atlas V 401, s/n AV-060 Cape Canaveral, SLC-41 In service [15][20]
GPS IIF-12 USA-266 5 February 2016, 13:38 Atlas V 401, s/n AV-057 Cape Canaveral, SLC-41 In service [15][21]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Global Positioning System". Boeing. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF". Boeing. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "First Block 2F GPS Satellite Launched, Needed to Prevent System Failure". DailyTech. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Farewell to a Great Generation: GPS IIA". Inside GNSS. 15 April 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
  5. ^ Pike, John. "GPS Block II F". Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Mission Overview" (PDF). Delta IV Launches GPS IIF SV-1. United Launch Alliance. 28 May 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  7. ^ Tariq Malik (28 May 2010). "Air Force Launches Advanced New GPS Satellite".
  8. ^ "ULA Marks Delta 50th Anniversary with Successful Delta IV GPS IIF SV-1 Launch". United Launch Alliance. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  9. ^ "United Launch Alliance Marks the 50th Successful GPS Launch for the Air Force with the Delivery of the GPS IIF-2 Mission to Orbit". United Launch Alliance. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  10. ^ "United Launch Alliance GPS IIF-3". United Launch Alliance. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  11. ^ "ULA Atlas V sets sail with new GPS satellite". 15 May 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Orbit Data and Resources on Active GNSS Satellites". GPS World. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  13. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches 25th Delta IV Mission Carrying Global Positioning System Satellite for the U.S. Air Force". United Launch Alliance. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Sixth GPS IIF Spacecraft Launches". Inside GNSS. 17 May 2014. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d "Boeing Satellite Launch Schedule". Boeing. Archived from the original on 11 June 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Atlas V to Launch GPS IIF-7". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Atlas V successfully vaults satellite to orbit". Florida Today. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  18. ^ "NOTICE ADVISORY TO NAVSTAR USERS (NANU) 2014090". United States Coast Guard. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  19. ^ "United Launch Alliance GPS IIF-9" (PDF). Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  20. ^ "Atlas V to Launch GPS IIF-11". 31 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  21. ^ "New GPS satellite begins transmitting to users around the globe". Retrieved 9 March 2016.