WASHINGTON — A troubled ground control system for the Air Force’s Global Positioning System satellites is already five years behind schedule and will likely be delayed further, says a new report by the Government Accountability Office released May 21.
The next-generation operational control system for the GPS 3 constellation, known as OCX, is being developed by Raytheon. Since 2012, the schedule has more than doubled and the costs have grown by approximately 68 percent, according to GAO. OCX was restructured in 2016 following difficulties implementing cybersecurity due to its complexity.
The OCX program is a software development effort to replace the current operational control system (OCS) with a modernized and more secure system. OCS lacks cybersecurity protections and is not compatible with some of the new features of the three latest generations of GPS satellites now in orbit, including the military M-code and three new civilian signals.
Under the latest agreement with the Air Force, Raytheon must deliver a complete system by June 2021 but GAO is casting doubt on the contractor’s ability to meet that deadline. “Raytheon has already used most of the extra time built into its schedule, leaving little room to fix any problems that may arise,” ...