A Whole Bunch of GPS Action

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket successfully launched the Global Positioning System IIF-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force Feb. 20, 2014, at 8:59 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket successfully launched the Global Positioning System IIF-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force Feb. 20, 2014, at 8:59 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. U.S. Air Force

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Two new GPS sets pack enhanced anti-jam features. The latest launch is this week.

The Air Force plans to launch a Boeing-built GPS IIF-8 satellite Oct. 29 following the successful launch of the IIF-7 bird just shy of three months ago on Aug. 1.

The 3,950-pound new satellites have a design life of 12 years and will replace II-A satellites, which were launched between 1990 and 1997 and were designed to last about 7 and 1/2 years.

Eleven of those satellites are still in use, including four launched in 1992.

The II-F satellites feature improved anti-jam protection for military users and a new “safety of life” transmitter from aviation users.