Air Force: Lockheed Martin’s LCC Solution Critical to Launch GPS 3 On Time

[Satellite TODAY Insider 01-12-12] Lockheed Martin will provide Launch and Checkout Capability (LCC) to command and control all GPS 3 satellites from launch through early on-orbit testing under a $21.5 million contracted awarded by the U.S. Air Force, the manufacturer announced Jan. 11.
   After it is delivered, the LCC will be integrated into Raytheon’s next-generation Operational Control System (OCX) to ensure launch availability for the first GPS 3 satellite in 2014. Lockheed’s LCC includes trained satellite operators and engineering solutions in partnership with OCX to support launch, early orbit operations and checkout of all GPS 3 satellites before the spacecraft are turned over to Air Force Space Command for operations.
   U.S. Air Force Col. Bernard Gruber, who is also the director of the GPS 3 program, said that achieving initial GPS 3 launch capability in 2014 is critical for the Pentagon’s effort to introduce new GPS capabilities on time. “[The launch capability] will enable the GPS 3 program to continue its production pace, maximize efficiencies and reduce long term costs for the GPS enterprise as a whole,” Gruber said in a statement. “It will also effectively close the time gap between GPS 3 and the next-generation OCX.”
   The GPS 3 program aims to replace the Pentagon’s aging GPS satellites while improving capability to meet the evolving needs of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide. The satellites were designed to deliver improved anti-jamming power and enhance the spacecraft’s design life. The GPS 3 satellites also will add a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems.
   Lockheed Martin is acting as the GPS 3 program’s prime contractor with a subcontractor team including ITT Exelis, General Dynamics, Infinity Systems Engineering, Honeywell and ATK among others.
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