The program to develop the next-generation GPS ground control system, OCX, is “continuing forward right now,” but the Pentagon could still cancel it, Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, said Thursday. “There’s still a clear message that we need to see progress, we need to see forward movement on the program, we need to see that we’re executing and meeting the milestones that we’ve established, or we will have to stop the program,” Bunch said. “We don’t want to do that, it’s a critical capability, but that is still an avenue that is out there that we’ll have to go with if we don’t see progress.” Bunch said that at a recent “deep dive” into the program—which he was not able to attend because he was testifying to Congress—DOD officials went over the 24-month extension schedule that Raytheon agreed to, but said the service cost position has not been set. The Air Force recently awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin as an “insurance policy” in case Raytheon cannot deliver. Air Force Space Command boss Gen. John Hyten has called the program “a disaster.”
More than two dozen U.S. Air Force fighters and tankers—including F-35s for the first time—are participating in what U.S. Air Forces in Europe calls the “premier” Nordic aerial exercise over the next two weeks.