USAF Approves Lockheed GPS Ground Control System

The Air Force has approved Lockheed Martin’s design for an upgrade to the existing GPS ground control system, which will now enter risk reduction, the company announced Monday. This upgrade is being performed under a $96 million contract approved in February and will enable the current system, which was built to operate GPS II satellites, to also operate the next generation GPS III satellites. Lockheed Martin is also building those satellites, which are scheduled for launch next year. The upgraded control system provides a temporary solution until the next generation Operational Control System is completed. OCX is being built by Raytheon, but its progress was delayed in July when a Nunn-McCurdy breach was declared as the program exceeded the 25 percent cost overrun threshold. In October, a Government Accountability Office report recommended the OCX program increase transparency by establishing clear milestones and clarifying its acquisitions strategy. (See also: Lockheed Martin Upgrades GPS Ground Control System.)