The U.S. Air Force used Raytheon Company’s (NYSE: RTN) GPS Next-Generation Operational Control System, known as GPS OCX, to support the launch of the first modernized GPS satellite into space. GPS OCX will now maneuver the GPS III satellite into its final orbit, a process that will take the ground control system 10 days to accomplish.
Ground antenna at Schriever Air Force Base, home of the 50th Space Wing.
“The GPS OCX Block 0 launch and checkout system is foundational to the improved precision, navigation and timing of the entire constellation,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “And we’ll all benefit from the system’s unprecedented level of cybersecurity protections.”
The fully modernized GPS OCX Block 0 launch and checkout system will support the launch of future GPS III satellites, enabling the introduction of a new civil signal, enhanced military signals, and anti-jam capabilities.
The ground system has achieved the highest level of cybersecurity protections of any Department of Defense space system, and its open architecture allows it to integrate new capabilities and signals as they become available, ensuring continued protection against future cyber threats.
In addition to GPS OCX’s role, RGNext, a joint venture between Raytheon and General Dynamics IT, provided operational launch support to ensure the safe launch of the Falcon 9 rocket that was carrying the GPS III satellite. RGNext operates the launch range on behalf of the U.S. Air Force, providing maintenance, range safety, weather monitoring, communication and surveillance support for all launches conducted by defense, civil and commercial companies at the range.
Raytheon Company, with 2017 sales of $25 billion and 64,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 96 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5ITM products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.