Air Force Sees Some Delays, Cost Growth In GPS Program
The Air Force found that the GPS IIF program has experienced delays caused by several problems.
According to the Air Force, they are:
- Complexity of the M-Code Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) design
- The magnitude of the effort required for the assembly, integration and test (AI&T) progress
- Late subcontractor navigation payload hardware deliveries
Those deliveries should have gone on time to the prime contractor, The Boeing Co. [BA].
The global positioning advancement encountered several programmatic and technical issues since the a Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) last December. SARs detail cost overruns and schedule delays.
Because of this, the Air Force initiated an independent program review that evaluated technical as well as programmatic performance, the air service noted.
As a result of this review, the Air Force projects a first GPS IIF launch in May 2008.That means that first launch has slipped 15 months from January 2007 to new projected date of May 2008.
Additionally, an independent cost estimate was conducted in conjunction with the program review. As a result of this review, the program now is being managed to a more realistic schedule and is funded at a higher confidence level, according to the Air Force.
Also, the Air Force has seven IIR-M satellites that will launch in the next three years to ensure the GPS constellation is sustained until the first GPS IIF launch in May 2008.