Science | Tue Dec 8, 2015 6:22pm EST
WASHINGTON | BY ANDREA SHALAL
The U.S. Air Force’s top space official on Tuesday slammed a new ground control system for GPS satellites being built by Raytheon Co as “a disaster” and said the Pentagon planned “significant” changes with the company to address the issues.
General John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, spoke after attending a session on the program last Friday led by the Pentagon’s chief arms buyer, Frank Kendall.
Air Force spokeswoman Captain Annmarie Annicelli said the Air Force would develop new cost estimates for the troubled GPS Operational Control System, or OCX, to reflect an additional two-year delay in completing its development.
Air Force officials earlier this year said the program had an 80.5 percent cost increase, to $1.6 billion, and a two-year delay due to increased cyber security requirements and issues with the contractor’s performance.
Hyten, speaking with reporters after an event, said Raytheon had completed an initial system called Block 0 to launch and fly the satellites, but more sophisticated software was needed to take full advantage of all the GPS signals over the longer term.