June 27, 2016 – Raytheon has achieved another test milestone in its development of the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System, or GPS OCX. This new system offers significant improvements to the GPS on which the U.S. military and millions of civilians rely, including enhanced availability, accuracy and security.
OCX’s development is delivered in “blocks,” with Block 0 comprising the Launch and Checkout System to take GPS III satellites into early orbit. Block 1 builds on Block 0 to deliver the full OCX capability, which allows the Air Force to transition from its current GPS ground controls to the modernized and secure GPS OCX. Block 2 delivers concurrently with Block 1 and includes GPS Navigation Warfare enhancements.
Raytheon recently completed its “Run For Record” test of the OCX Black Wide Area Network, or B-WAN, which provides network connectivity to unclassified external interfaces for GPS OCX. The component-level testing included mission capability and cyber controls, and was completed with a 100 percent requirements pass rate. The B-WAN will be deployed as part of OCX Block 1 and Block 0, with the first use of B-WAN in 2017, with the delivery of the Block 0 Launch and Checkout System.
“This latest milestone shows that OCX will function securely with external interfaces to GPS, demonstrating the maturity of this critical development program,” said Bill Sullivan, GPS OCX vice president and program manager for Raytheon.
The U.S. Air Force-led GPS Modernization Program will yield new positioning, navigation and timing capabilities for both the U.S. military and civilian users across the globe. GPS OCX is being developed by Raytheon under contract to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, which is replacing the current GPS operational control system.
GPS OCX provides a number of significant modernized capabilities for GPS users, including robust cybersecurity and deployment of jam-resistant, operational military code, or M-code. The OCX Launch and Checkout System provides an early delivery of much of the overall OCX capability, and will support the GPS III satellite launches.
The GPS III satellites are in various stages of assembly and testing at Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Processing Facility outside of Denver. The satellites are being built in a steady production line fashion that is reducing cost and development time.
Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.