The Space and Missile Systems Center on Feb. 25 awarded the contract for the next-generation GPS control segment, known as OCX, to Raytheon. The contract’s initial value is $886 million, with sustainment options that could take it to $1.5 billion over five years, according to an SMC release. Col. Dave Madden at SMC said, the “flexible architecture” OCX is “urgently needed not only to enable new warfighter capabilities but also to put the new GPS III space vehicles into mission operations.” Raytheon will develop and install hardware and software at control centers at Schriever AFB, Colo., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and deploy advanced monitor stations at remote sites. In a company release, Bob Canty, GPS VP and program manager, said, “By selecting Raytheon, the Air Force recognizes our experience and commitment to take GPS to the next level.” Raytheon had vied against Northrop Grumman for the OCX program.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.