Officials from the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate announced that the U.S. Air Force and Raytheon successfully met all requirements to enter into the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Next Generation Operational Control System.
The decision was approved by Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Oct. 11.
OCX will replace the current Global Positioning System’s Operational Control Segment in managing the current GPS constellation and providing the capability to control the GPS families of satellites. In addition to OCS mission capabilities, OCX will be built upon underlying robust Information Assurance architecture expand ability options, and will provide command and control for all modernized signals.
“The successful outcome of the decision is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of a government and industry team working collectively to ensure improved GPS services to users around the globe,” said Col. Bernie Gruber, director of the Global Positioning Systems Directorate.
OCX is being developed and fielded in major “blocks” of GPS capability to align with GPS III and military equipment deliveries. Block 0, also known as the Launch and Checkout System, scheduled to be available in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014, will allow OCX to support the launch of GPSIII satellites.
OCX’s Block 1, scheduled to transition to operations in the first quarter of 2016, will deliver the operational capability to command and control the entire GPS constellation including GPS II and GPS III satellites; this block will also control the legacy civil and military signals, as well as two modernized civil and military signals, L2C and L5.
OCX Block 2 will specifically support advanced capabilities for civilian and military signals, the international civil signal, L1C, and the military signal, M-Code. OCX Block 2 is currently synchronized with modernized signal broadcast and timing.
“Achieving Milestone B is a result of the hard work and dedication of the entire OCX government-industry team,” said Ray Kolibaba, Raytheon vice president and GPS OCX program manager. “This recognizes the substantial progress we’re making on OCX development and certifies our cost, schedule and performance objectives, as well as the overall afford ability of the program.”