The Air Force must be more transparent in its progress reports on the modernization of GPS capabilities, according to the Government Accountability Office. The quarterly reports were required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 to brief congressional committees on the GPS III satellite, operational control system (OCX), and military GPS user equipment (MGUE) programs that together make up the next generation GPS system. The Air Force released its first quarterly report on April 22. GAO’s review, released Tuesday, found that “the report provided important information on some efforts and some details on full or long-term program cost, schedule, performance, testing, and risk,” but also that “some adjustments would be necessary to improve transparency.” The review says the report included no “acquisition strategy or future milestones,” and GAO suggested the Air Force include “an integrated master schedule” for the GPS programs in future reports. The Air Force has continued to hit some milestones in the GPS program development, giving a security certificate for the development of MGUE last week and purchasing two more GPS III satellites in September, but the OCX development program has encountered cost overruns and defective equipment.
July 1, 2022
The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine is highlighting new use-cases for ISR as well as the advantages of integrating a hybrid approach—multiple types of ISR imaging satellites—to capture a fuller picture of developing threats.