The U.S. Air Force has selected Raytheon Company (for an initial contract of $886 million to develop a new element of the Global Positioning System to improve the accuracy of information from GPS satellites.
The contract represents the first two development blocks of the advanced control segment (OCX), which will have a significant impact on GPS capabilities. The OCX system will include anti-jam capabilities and improved security, accuracy and reliability and will be based on a modern service-oriented architecture to integrate government and industry open-system standards.
"We are excited to partner with the Air Force to provide the best-value GPS control system for the future," said Lynn Dugle, president of Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems business. "Raytheon’s broad experience in delivering satellite-to-ground command and control systems will ensure that our nation’s military and civil GPS users worldwide are provided new capabilities."
The OCX will dramatically affect GPS command, control and mission capabilities and make it easier for the operations team to run the current GPS block II and all future GPS satellites.
"Raytheon is proud to deliver innovative technologies to help the Air Force meet its mission of protecting GPS operational services," said Bob Canty, GPS OCX vice president and program manager for Raytheon. "The advanced control segment is a critical program for our nation’s combat forces, coalition partners, as well as domestic and international civil users. By selecting Raytheon, the Air Force recognises our experience and commitment to take GPS to the next level."
The GPS, a satellite-based radio navigation system for the military and the public, comprises three major segments: the user segment, the space segment, and the control segment, which includes a master control station and ground antennas.
"The OCX concept was created to separate the control and space segments," Canty said. "Technologies were evolving so rapidly and were so critical to execution that specialized skills were needed. The GPS wing saw the same need for specialised expertise on GPS OCX."
Raytheon brings more than four decades of experience in command and control systems for satellites to the OCX program. Teammates include The Boeing Company, ITT, Braxton Technologies, Infinity Systems Engineering and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The contract was awarded by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base.