Lockheed Martin will proceed on work to modify the U.S. Air Force’s existing GPS ground control unit after the military branch approved the company’s upgrade design for the system.
The company said Monday it completed a critical design review in November under the Contingency Operations contract and will move forward with software development and systems engineering tasks for the Architecture Evolution Plan Operational Control Segment.
Lockheed said the modifications aim to support future GPS Block III satellites in positioning, navigation and timing missions after their launch.
The Air Force also expects the modifications to provide a temporary gap filler before the GPS constellation kicks off operations on the upcoming Operational Control System Block 1.
“This risk-reduction effort ensures the Air Force has the ability to maintain the constellation at full strength,” said Mark Stewart, vice president of Lockheed’s navigation systems mission area.
Lockheed maintains the AEP and controls the 31 GPS IIR, IIR-M and IIF satellites in orbit and is contracted to build the Air Force’s first 10 GPS III satellites.