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Frank Kendall, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics. U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic (Click image to enlarge.)

GPS OCX Delayed, Again

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December 9, 2015

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The Air Force is weighing its options for a new GPS ground system after a detailed review last week revealed the system would be further delayed — perhaps to as late as 2023.

The “Deep Dive” review of the Next Generation Operational Control Segment (OCX) on December 4 revealed that the program would not deliver on its already delayed schedule — a development that could push it further out of sync with the planned delivery of the new GPS III satellites. OCX is necessary for the full integration and operation of the new generation of satellites.

"During the meeting, current program execution, estimate to completion, and actions needed to complete the program more efficiently were reviewed," said Air Force spokeswoman AnnMarie Annicelli in an email to Inside GNSS. "It was acknowledged that the current estimate for completion of the development program will extend an additional two years."

The Air Force will be developing "a new Service cost estimate to replace the one approved in early Dec in support of the review," she said.

That cost could run as high as $4 billion, said a source familiar with the program, who added that the program was now looking at a delivery date of 2023.

“That's kind of significant,” the source said.

The review was held before Frank Kendall, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, who said last week that finding a new contractor was a possibility, according to a Space News report.

In remarks to reporters at an Air Force Association Mitchell Institute Space Breakfast yesterday (December 8, 2015), Air Force Space Commander Gen. John Hyten said, The OCX program is a disaster, just a disaster, and it’s embarrassing to have to stand in front of people and try to defend it, so I won’t." The title of Hyten's address was, "My First Year in Perspective - What Did We Get Done?"

"Raytheon is focused on continued development of the modernized, cyber-hardened GPS OCX," said Matt Gilligan, vice president of Navigation and Environmental Solutions and Raytheon in a written statement in response to an Inside GNSS query. "We are fully committed to delivering, without compromise, the modernized GPS ground controls envisioned and required by the Air Force."

Full Air Force Statement
"A 'Deep Dive' review of the Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) was accomplished on Friday, 4 Dec.  During the meeting, current program execution, estimate to completion, and actions needed to complete the program more efficiently were reviewed. It was acknowledged that the current estimate for completion of the development program will extend an additional two years. The Air Force and the Raytheon Company will continue to focus on a more efficient execution of the developmental effort in order to get the critical capability fielded.  Based on the approved schedule extension, the Air Force will be developing a new Service cost estimate to replace the one approved in early Dec in support of the review."

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