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Air Force Accepts Delivery of GPS OCX Launch and Checkout System Baseline  

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November 2, 2017

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The Space and Missile Systems Center (AFSPC) announced today that the United States Air Force has accepted delivery of the Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System (GPS OCX) Launch and Checkout System (LCS) baseline from Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems.

Also known as Block 0, LCS demonstrated conformance through test and analysis with all contractual requirements. OCX has had numerous challenges delaying the delivery of this critical capability, and this delivery marks a significant program milestone providing the Air Force with a cyber-hardened ground system to support the launch and on-orbit checkout of the GPS III satellites. OCX Block 0 is the foundation for Raytheon’s future Block 1 and 2 delivery, slated for delivery in 2022.

Today, mission operators are utilizing LCS as part of the GPS III Mission Readiness Campaign. The ground system is performing as expected during the rehearsals and space vehicle checkout, giving the Air Force confidence in its readiness to support launch and on-orbit operations, according to the Nov. 2 press release issued by AFSPC. The first launch of a GPS III satellite is scheduled for 2018.

Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.

In April, Inside GNSS reported that a Raytheon executive had said that the company expected to deliver the Block 0 Launch and Checkout System to the U.S. Air Force this fall as part of the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX). In addition, the company completed a baseline procedure to recertify the troubled OCX program, which was approved by the U.S. Air Force, at the end of March, said Bill Sullivan, Raytheon vice president and program manager for GPS OCX, at the time at the 33rd annual Space Symposium meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Also in April, Inside GNSS reported that this new GPS ground system had passed its most recent in-depth review and completed a schedule and budget re-baselining though a new government watchdog report stated the program remains at "high risk of cost overruns, schedule delays and performance shortfalls." Read the fill article, “OCX Passes Deep Dive Review; GAO Says Program Risk Remains High” by clicking here.

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