Taking Control

Northrop Grumman announced Monday that it has successfully demonstrated command and control of a simulated GPS Block IIR-M satellite using an engineering model of its next-generation GPS ground control segment. The demonstration was part of the company’s ongoing risk-reduction activities under Air Force sponsorship to develop this control system, known as OCX for short, to manage GPS Block II and future Block III satellites. Northrop said it used its modernized capability engineering model in the recent test. “The MCEM was a compelling demonstration of this team’s commitment to meeting the Air Force’s vision for a modernized GPS enterprise on schedule, on cost,” said Steve Bergjans, Northrop vice president and OCX program manager. Northrop’s team is competing against a Raytheon-led consortium to win the rights to supply OCX. Both teams are operating under 18-month, $160 million Phase A risk-reduction contracts that the Air Force let in November 2007.