Lockheed Martin Upgrades GPS Ground Control System

An upgraded ground control system for the Air Force’s GPS satellite constellation is fully operational, according to a press release from Lockheed Martin. The Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Upgrade #2 (CUP2) has been managing the 31 satellites that provide data for the GPS system from Schriever AFB, Colo., since Oct. 15. The upgraded system provides enhanced protection from cyber attack. Lockheed Martin designed CUP2 under the GPS III contract, and the system is further upgradable to control the first GPS III satellites, scheduled to be launched in 2017 and 2018. Eventually, the entire GPS III system will transition to a next generation ground control system, OCX, which is currently being developed by Raytheon. OCX has experienced numerous delays and cost overruns, culminating in the Air Force declaring a Nunn-McCurdy breach on the program in July because it reported a greater than 25 percent cost overrun. In February, Lockheed Martin was awarded an “insurance policy” contract to produce the OCX system in the event that Raytheon is unable to deliver.