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Air Force officials exercised more than $245 million in contract options to finish the seventh and eighth new generation Global Positioning System III satellites, announced Lockheed Martin on Tuesday. "With eight GPS III satellites now fully under contract, the GPS III program is moving from development into recurring production," said Mark Stewart, the company's navigation systems vice president, on April 1. "We continue to build on the lessons learned from development and this contract demonstrates the Air Force’s confidence in and continued need for the GPS III satellite," he added. The Air Force funded Lockheed Martin to begin long-lead work on the fifth through eighth satellite vehicles in February 2013. The company is currently completing integration and test work on the first two GPS III satellites. The Air Force issued funds to finish building the fifth and sixth spacecraft last year. GPS III will replace the current generation of navigation satellites with a more jam-resistant and accurate technology, according to the company.