Raytheon has achieved a significant milestone in the US Air Force's (USAF) next-generation operational control system (GPS OCX) development programme after completion of GPS launch and checkout system (LCS) testing.
The company is set to begin complete site-specific qualification and acceptance testing of the LCS, which performs early orbit checkout.
Transitioning from the Raytheon factory to Schriever Air Force Base (AFB), Colorado, the test will involve qualification and verification of the system's external interface and performance on the OCX hardware already installed at the AFB.
Raytheon's intelligence, information and services president Dave Wajsgras said: "This achievement moves the system one step closer to delivering enhanced GPS for millions of users worldwide.
"We remain confident in our path forward."
Raytheon will also conduct final cyber security checks and configuration audits on the LCS.
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GPS OCX is being developed under a contract between Raytheon and the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center.
OCX is intended to replace the current GPS operational control system and will support the launch of GPS III satellites.
It is intended to provide effective use of modern civil and military signals and safeguard information-sharing with unprecedented cyber protection.
Raytheon stated that GPS OCX will work with both legacy and new types of signals, enabling full use of current signal capabilities.
Image: Artist's impression of a GPS Block IIIA or GPS III satellite in orbit. Photo: courtesy of USAF.