Raytheon won $234 million from the U.S. Air Force for Next Generation Operational Control System Block III follow-on.
This contract will provide updates to the Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 1 and 2 ground system to incorporate Global Positioning System Block III Follow-on (GPS IIIF) satellite capabilities, a U.S. DoD release today said.
OCX will command all modernized and legacy GPS satellites, manage all civil and military navigation signals, and provide improved cybersecurity and resilience for the next generation of GPS operations.
According to Raytheon, GPS OCX will have improved accuracy with better international availability as well as globally deployed modernized receivers with anti-jam capabilities.
Deliverables for the entire GPS OCX system are divided into three blocks: Block 0, Block 1 and Block 2. Block 0 delivery took place in the fall of 2017, enabling it to support the first launch of modernized GPS III satellites in 2018. In December of 2018, the US Air Force successfully launched the first next-generation GPS III satellites from Cape Canaveral Florida using the GPS OCX Launch and Checkout System (LCS). The mission successfully completed the Launch and Early Orbit phase of the Mission on January 1, 2019. Since then, the LCS has been used to launch three GPS satellites and all four have been handed off to U.S. Air Force operations squadron.
In early 2021, the Ground System Simulator received accreditation. The Ground System Simulator (GSYS) mimics critical tasks of GPS ground control, including constellation management of more than 40 satellite simulations, replicating the command and control of 17 monitor stations, four ground antennas, as well as simulating the entire satellite lifecycle from launch to disposal.
Block 1 delivery will take place in 2022, providing full operational capability to include control of both legacy and modernized satellites and signals. Block 2, delivered concurrently with Block 1, adds operational control of the new international L1C and modernized Military Code signals.