Raytheon has completed the delivery of global positioning system next-generation operational control system’s (GPS OCX) launch and checkout system (LCS) to the US Air Force (USAF).

The LCS, also called Block 0, is a cyber-secure ground system that includes computing hardware, operations centre workstations and mission application software required to launch the first GPS III satellite into orbit and perform initial on-orbit testing.

Commenting on the acceptance, Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services president Dave Wajsgras said: “This is a major milestone for the programme and it keeps the USAF on track to launch the first modernised GPS satellite into space next year.

“We have strong forward momentum on the programme and we will deliver the full capability in 2021.”

The GPS OCX’s Block 0 is claimed to form the basis for the full system delivery, referred to as Block 1.

Block 1 is capable of providing higher accuracy and globally deployed modernised receivers to ensure anti-jam capability for military users.

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“Block 1 is capable of providing higher accuracy and globally deployed modernised receivers to ensure anti-jam capability for military users.”

LCS will also provide control of both legacy and updated satellites and signals, including the new international L1C and modernised military code.

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 enables the effective use of modern civil and military signals, while it safeguards 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.