Lockheed Martin [LMT] completed a major upgrade to modernize the Air Force’s Global Position System (GPS) ground control system, the Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Upgrade #2 (CUP2) project, the company said Thursday.

The CUP2 project is the newest step in the Air Force’s multi-year plan to refresh technology and transform the legacy Operational Control Segment into a modern command and control system, called the Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP).

Artist's illustration of a GPS III spacecraft. Photo: Lockheed Martin.
Artist’s illustration of a GPS III spacecraft. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

CUP2 became fully operational on Oct. 15 and began managing the 31 GPS IIR, IIR0M and IIF satellites that make up the GPS constellation.

“Under CUP2, Lockheed Martin and the Air Force installed modern commercial hardware and a major software upgrade that enhances the system’s ability to protect data and infrastructure from cyber threats, as well as improves its overall sustainability and operability,” Vinny Sica, vice president and general manager of mission solutions for Lockheed Martin, said in a statement.

“Continued modernization and cyber-hardening of the GPS control system is vitally important to the sustainment of navigation services for our military and all global GPS users,” he added.

Lockheed Martin was awarded the CUP2 project in November 2013 under the GPS Control Segment (GCS) contract by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. It has been fully deployed into the AEP’s GPS Master Control Station and the Alternate Master Control Station, the company said.

The company also demonstrated a preliminary design to build off CUP2 for further upgrades to the AEP in May as part of Contingency Operations (COps) under the GPS III contract. This would support the next generation GPS III satellites as they perform the position, navigation, and timing mission. COps is a temporary gap-filler used before the entire GPS constellation is fully transitioned into the next-generation Operation Control System (OCX) Block 1, currently under development.

The GPS constellation is operated and managed by the 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS) at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.