Lockheed Martin and Raytheon announced Monday they’ve completed the first significant integration milestone between the former’s in-development Global Positioning System III satellite and the latter’s GPS Next Generation Operational Control System known as OCX. The joint project team successfully exchanged satellite commands and telemetry data between Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellite simulator in Newtown, Pa., and Raytheon’s OCX development site in Aurora, Colo., during testing in early February, according to the companies. “The first connectivity between the modernized space and control segments is a major milestone for the entire GPS enterprise,” said Keoki Jackson, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area. The integration of the two sites will help facilitate development testing of OCX—the future GPS ground control element—and allow risk reduction, stated the companies. The first GPS III satellite is scheduled to launch in 2014.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.