There were delays in delivering this important system to the U.S. Air Force, but now they have received the System. The Space and Missile Systems Center announced that the United States Air Force has accepted delivery of the Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System (GPS OCX) Launch and Checkout System (LCS) baseline from Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems.
Also known as Block 0, LCS demonstrated conformance through test and analysis with all contractual requirements. OCX has had numerous challenges delaying the delivery of this critical capability, and this delivery marks a significant program milestone providing the Air Force with a cyber-hardened ground system to support the launch and on-orbit checkout of the GPS III satellites. OCX Block 0 is the foundation for Raytheon’s future Block 1 and 2 delivery, slated for delivery in 2022.
Today, mission operators are utilizing LCS as part of the GPS III Mission Readiness Campaign. The ground system is performing as expected during the rehearsals and space vehicle checkout, giving the Air Force confidence in its readiness to support launch and on-orbit operations. The first launch of a GPS III satellite is scheduled for 2018.
Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.