What’s New: Raytheon just discovered new flaws in its OCX ground control system for GPS.
Why it’s important:
- The US needs OCX for a number of reasons.
- It greatly improves the cyber security of America’s most important civil/military asset that supports virtually every facet of daily life.
- It is needed to take advantage of many upgrades in GPSIII satellites.
- OCX is already 6 years behind schedule. Estimated cost has increased from $3.9B when the contract was awarded to $6.1B today.
- GPS and space are hard.
- The Government Accountability Office has regularly criticized DOD leadership for not paying enough attention to GPS and PNT issues.
- OCX is not the only GPS program that is suffering. Receivers that will allow military users to take advantage of the more secure M-Code. GPSIII and M-Code were approved in the year 2000.
- GPS, not counting OCX, costs US taxpayers $2B+ per year. – It is well worth it. We need rock-solid GPS!
- Mature, commercially available PNT technologies to complement, backup, and serve as alternatives to GPS could be had for less than $100M/year and be in operation in less than 24 months.
(Bloomberg) — A $6.1 billion Raytheon Technologies Corp. system of 17 worldwide ground stations to control the Pentagon’s GPS satellite constellation has newly discovered software flaws, delaying its delivery and initial operations yet again.
There’s no new timetable for delivery of the system, which most recently had been projected for December after it had passed acceptance tests in November, Air Force officials told Bloomberg News. The latest plan had been to declare it ready for operations by April. It was originally supposed to be up and running in October 2016.
Once called the Defense Department’s “No. 1 troubled program” by a Pentagon official, the ground stations are intended to provide improvements, including access to more secure, jam-resistant software, for the military’s use of the GPS navigation system, which is also used by civilians worldwide.