U.S. Air Force contracts Lockheed Martin for GPS ground control

January 10, 2019  - By
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GPS Control Segment Sustainment II (GCS II) contract continues the modernization of the GPS Operational Control Segment (OCS).

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin the GPS Control Segment Sustainment II (GCS II) contract to continue to sustain and further modernize the GPS constellation’s ground control system through 2025.

This is a follow-on contract to Lockheed Martin’s current GCS contract, awarded in 2013.

Under the GCS II contract, the continued upgrade of the GPS Architecture Evolution Plan Operational Control Segment (AEP OCS) will allow GPS’ legacy ground control system to support GPS III satellite on-orbit operations, developed under the GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) program.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket orbited the first GPS III satellite on Dec. 23, 2018. (Photo: SpaceX)

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket orbited the first GPS III satellite on Dec. 23, 2018. (Photo: SpaceX)

COps will enable the AEP OCS to support the positioning, navigation and timing missions of the Air Force’s new GPS III satellites, which began launching in December 2018.

In addition, GCS II will sustain the operational M-code capability being deployed in 2020 that is in development under the M-code Early Use (MCEU) contract. Operational M-code is a critical warfighter capability to support missions in contested environments.

Under the GCS contract, Lockheed Martin executed numerous engineering modifications to the OCS, including:

  • the COTS Upgrade 3(CUP3)/Ground Antenna Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) Interface Technology Refresh (GAITR) upgrade
  • the Remote Site COTS Network (RSCN) project
  • the GPS Information Protection Reinforcement (GIPR) project
  • the COTS Upgrade #2 (CUP2) project
  • Red Dragon Cybersecurity Suite (RDCSS).

These projects modernized the infrastructure, improved the cyber posture and added mission capability. The GCS II contract continues that commitment to evolving the OCS to address today’s mission needs.

Under GCS II, LM will continue to manage the technical baselines for the OCS and GPS Information Network (GIN) and regularly procure, develop, fabricate, integrate, test and install software and hardware modifications into the GPS operational baseline. Focus areas will be performing a technical refresh of the GIN and increasing the resiliency of the OCS.

“Lockheed Martin’s experience integrating GCS projects as well as the system engineering and software integration performed on GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) and M-Code Early Use (MCEU) position us well to deliver GCS II,” said Maria Demaree, vice president/GM Mission Solutions for Lockheed Martin Space. “We look forward to supporting the Air Force as it deploys the next generation GPS III satellites and their new capabilities for our warfighters.”

About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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