The Space and Missile Systems Center has released the final request for proposals for the next generation of Global Positioning System satellites. The RFP was overdue, but a GPS Wing spokesperson at SMC said they needed a “few delays” to be able to “synchronize” the Air Force’s new block acquisition approach with the Joint Requirements Oversight Council. Air Force Undersecretary Ronald Sega explained the block approach—implemented to better control cost, technology risk, and schedule for new systems—earlier this year to lawmakers. In a response to query, the wing noted, too, that it needed the additional time “to ensure the RFP focused on not only meeting the right requirements, but meeting those requirements at the right time within the incremental strategy.” The Air Force plans to award a contract for the first eight GPS III satellites by late this year and begin launches in 2013. Boeing and Lockheed Martin have been in competition for the GPS III contract.
Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill announced Dec. 2 that they have reached a deal to extend the continuing resolution funding the government into February. Now, the House and Senate will have to scramble to pass the legislation by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 3 to avoid a temporary shutdown.