Lockheed Martin Advances GPS Ground Control System for U.S. Air Force

Lockheed Martin Advances GPS Ground Control System for U.S. Air Force
The Air Force’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate contracted the CUP2 upgrade.

Lockheed Martin has announced a major upgrade to modernize the GPS ground control system, the company said. The commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) upgrade no. 2 (CUP2) project, which became operational in mid-October to manage the 31 GPS satellites, is the latest step in the U.S. Air Force’s plan to refresh technology and transform the legacy operational control segment, also known as the Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP), the company said.

Lockheed Martin has announced a major upgrade to modernize the GPS ground control system, the company said. The commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) upgrade no. 2 (CUP2) project, which became operational in mid-October to manage the 31 GPS satellites, is the latest step in the U.S. Air Force’s plan to refresh technology and transform the legacy operational control segment, also known as the Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP), the company said.

"Under CUP2, Lockheed Martin and the Air Force installed modern commercial hardware and a major software upgrade that enhances the system’s ability to protect data and infrastructure from cyber threats, as well as improves its overall sustainability and operability," said Vinny Sica, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of mission solutions. "Continued modernization and cyber-hardening of the GPS control system is vitally important to the sustainment of navigation services for our military and all global GPS users."

The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin the CUP2 project in November 2013 through its GPS Control Segment contract. The system, a part of a GPS Control Segment contract, is deployed into the AEP’s GPS Master Control Station and the Alternate Master Control Station.

This is the third major technology upgrade of the GPS command and control system since the GCS contract began in January 2013, the company said.

In May, as part of Contingency Operations (COps) through the GPS III contract, Lockheed Martin demonstrated a preliminary design to build off CUP2 and further upgrade the AEP, the company said. This supports the next generation GPS III satellites to perform their positioning, navigation and timing mission.

Lockheed Martin said COps is a temporary gap filler prior to the entire GPS constellation’s transition to the next-generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 1, which is currently in development.

The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Global Positioning Systems Directorate, contracted the CUP2 upgrade. The Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, manages and operates the GPS constellation.

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