The Air Force recently chose Northrop Grumman [NOC] and Raytheon [RTN] to conduct concurrent developmental work on a next- generation ground control segment for Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation satellites.
Each company won phase A contracts worth about $160 million to reduce the risk in the design of the GPS Operational Control Segment (OCX) over the next 18 months. Lockheed Martin's [LMT] bid in the competition was unsuccessful.
The OCX is the future satellite command and control, mission planning, constellation management, monitoring stations and ground antennas that the Air Force will use to manage constellations of GPS Block II and Block III satellites starting next decade.
Phase A activities will include trade studies, requirements definition and engineering model development, the Department of Defense said Nov. 21 in the OCX contract announcement.
The Air Force will eventually choose one of the teams to complete the development of the OCX and then build it (Defense Daily, Jan. 22). The total estimated value to the winning team for developing the OCX is more than $1 billion, according to industry.
"The Northrop Grumman team offers a low-risk solution that will readily evolve to meet the ever-increasing operational demands placed on GPS," Steve Bergjans, Northrop Grumman's GPS OCX vice president and program manager, said yesterday in the company's statement. "We are excited by the opportunity to partner our experienced industry team with the Air Force to modernize GPS command and control. Our team is positioned to measurably improve the operational responsiveness, availability, survivability and accuracy of global GPS services."
Michael Keebaugh, president of Raytheon's Intelligence and Information Systems business, said: "This award is an excellent opportunity for Raytheon to continue our excellent performance in control systems while pursuing new areas for growth. With more than 40 years' experience delivering satellite ground command and control systems, we are uniquely qualified to deliver the right control system to enhance the Air Force, military and civil users' capabilities."
The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), the Air Force's space acquisition arms, oversees the GPS OCX program. The center is headquartered at Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
Northrop Grumman's team includes General Dynamics [GD], Harris Corporation [HRS], Applied Minds, Infinity Systems Engineering, Integral Systems, and NAVSYS Corporation.
The team, Northrop Grumman said, will provide architecture design; communications and network engineering; information assurance and security; modeling and simulation; network management; software development; support, maintenance and implementation; systems engineering and integration; and test and evaluation.
Raytheon's teammates include Boeing [BA], ITT Industries [ITT], Braxton Technologies, Infinity Systems Engineering and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"Our team brings an optimal balance of GPS-unique domain expertise with control segment development expertise.," Raytheon spokesman Keith Little told Defense Daily yesterday. "Raytheon brings a strong track record for time-certain delivery."
In September, SMC transitioned the control of GPS satellites to the Architecture Evolution Plan system that will manage the constellation until the OCX is operational (Defense Daily, Aug. 16 and Sept. 24).