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GPS Next-Generation Control Squadron Completes Design Reviews, Program Demos

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The GPS Next-Generation Control Segment Squadron (OCX) recently completed two System Design Reviews (SDR) and two Modernized Capability Engineering Model (MCEM) demonstrations with contractors Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. Both contractors were awarded identical $160 million contracts administered by Space and Missile Systems Center for the first phase of the program. Completion of these major program events represents significant advancement in the concept development effort.
Raytheon conducted its SDR and MCEM demonstrations in December 2008. Northrop Grumman also completed its MCEM demonstration in December 2008, followed by its SDR in January 2009. 

The SDRs provided engineering evidence that OCX will be able to control new military and civil signals, meet stringent information assurance requirements and be delivered to support the first GPS IIIA launch. With OCX, the GPS ground system will meet warfighter needs for Global Information Grid connectivity, improved signal security and increased power for GPS users in jammed environments. The SDRs also highlighted the improved signal integrity the GPS civil community will see when OCX is fully developed. 

The Modernized Capability Engineering Models were prototypes developed to showcase contractor architectures in action. Both MCEM prototypes demonstrated the ability to control some key features of the modernized GPS system: the M-code signal, response to anomalies and command power increase for anti-jam. 

"The benefit of these demonstrations for the Government is enormous, as we now know the architecture in the presentation charts works when it commands an IIR-M simulator. Because of the MCEM demonstrations and the SDRs, we are confident both Phase A contractors are well positioned to execute the Phase B portion of the contract, whomever is selected," said Lt. Col. Janet W. Grondin, GPS Advanced Control Segment commander and Air Force OCX program manager. 

During the 18-month development phase, each contractor was required to successfully complete a System Requirements Review, Integrated Baseline Review and System Design Review, culminating in the demonstration of their Modernized Capability Engineering Models. With those program milestones now complete, focus shifts back to the Air Force and the OCX program management team, as preparations are made for the late-summer 2009 downselect to a single provider for the $2.7 billion effort.