Raytheon has moved its global positioning system (GPS) next-generation operational control system (GPS OCX) into the system integration and test phase.

The milestone follows the completion of the software’s full software and hardware development.

The final software development phase started in March last year. A total of 1.5 million lines of software code were developed by the GPS OCX team.

Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services business president Dave Wajsgras said: “GPS OCX is one of the largest, most complex software development programmes in the Department of Defense, and we’re now in the home stretch toward full system delivery.”

The company is developing GPS OCX as part of a US Air Force-led GPS system modernisation effort. The current GPS system consists of space and ground control segments.

GPS OCX is an enhanced ground control segment being developed for the GPS III constellation. Lockheed Martin is under contract to build GPS III and GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) satellites.

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The entire GPS OCX system’s deliverables are divided into three blocks, namely Block 0, Block 1 and Block 2.

Block 0 was handed over in 2017. The US Air Force used the cyber-secure GPS OCX launch and checkout system (LCS) to launch the first next-generation GPS III satellites from Cape Canaveral Florida in December last year.

It also supported the launch of the service’s second GPS III satellite into space. Block 1 and Block 2 will be delivered in 2021.

GPS OCX is designed to manage double the number of satellites of the current GPS system and increase the signal strength to improve coverage in crowded cities and mountainous terrain.

Raytheon’s GPS OCX completed cybersecurity vulnerability tests in November 2018. It has implemented 100% of the US Department of Defense’s information assurance standards.

In May, the company announced that GPS OCX’s modernised monitoring station receivers were ready for installation worldwide, starting this August.