Raytheon has announced that it passed a milestone in developing the US Air Force's (USAF) global positioning system next-generation operational control system (GPS OCX).
Upon completion, the GPS OCX will offer positioning, navigation and timing capabilities for both military and civilian users worldwide.
Raytheon said that the system will improve availability, accuracy and security of the existing GPS.
Raytheon GPS OCX vice-president and programme manager Bill Sullivan said: "The completion of these test and design milestones demonstrates our progress on OCX execution with our air force customer.
"As the programme execution has stabilised, we are showing consistent progress on downstream deliveries for the GPS OCX programme."
The OCX is being delivered in blocks, with Block 0 comprising the launch, checkout system and early orbit of GPS III satellites.
Block 1 will deliver the full OCX capability, which is said to allow the air force to transition from its current GPS ground controls to the modernised and secure GPS OCX.
GPS Navigation Warfare enhancements will be included in Block 2, which will be delivered together with Block 1.
The OCX monitor station receiver element passed its first milestone by completing the Block 1 Electromagnetic Interference Test with a 100% requirements pass rate.
The second milestone was Block 2 hardware Critical Design Review, which paved the way for hardware development.
Raytheon is developing the GPS OCX under contract to the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center, which is replacing the current GPS operational control system.