Menu Dropdown

Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System (GPS OCX)

The world depends on Global Positioning System (GPS)

As the world becomes more dependent on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, protecting the satellite signal from jamming, computer hackers, errors and inaccuracies has become a matter of global security.

Raytheon is building the ground station for a new generation of satellites that will bring more safety and precision to GPS, affecting everything from the farms that grow our food to the warfighters that protect our freedoms to the aircraft that carry our loved ones home for the holidays.

GPS is a critical, national asset with increasing global dependence. Declared operational in 1995, the U.S. Air Force’s GPS has become an integral tool, one the U.S. military relies on to keep troops safe and one businesses depend on to improve productivity and efficiency.

Adversaries are aggressively working to mitigate our GPS advantage. By 2020, advancements by potential enemies in jamming, spoofing and cyber attack make the current GPS system increasingly vulnerable under evolving war fighting conditions. Investments in U.S. weapons systems and war fighting strategies leveraging space-based Position, Navigation & Timing (PNT) are at stake.

To ensure the U.S. maintains its military advantage and leadership, the U.S. Congress authorized a GPS enterprise modernization project in 2000, commonly known as GPS III, to maintain and upgrade existing GPS capabilities. The project involves new, more capable satellites and a flexible, secure control system that together will provide new navigation signals for both civilian and military users, and will improve accuracy, availability and resistance to intentional jamming.

Next Generation GPS Protects Warfighters

To guarantee our warfighters successfully complete missions and operate safely on battlefields of the future, the U.S. Air Force’s modernization plan will deliver advanced capabilities and enhance the overall performance of GPS.

Some key improvements include:

  • Higher power, jam proof military signals
  • Increased signal and time transfer accuracy
  • Improved Information Assurance, cyber security and improved aviation signal integrity
  • New civil signal meeting U.S. Government international collaboration commitments
  • Adaptable spacecraft bus for low-risk affordable capability insertion in the future
  • Net-centric, flexible and evolvable control system

GPS Delivers Enhanced Business Productivity

Additionally, GPS has become a global utility that not only military users depend on, but civil and commercial users rely on daily for critical position, navigation and timing (PNT) information. GPS modernization will be a catalyst for profound new business and economic applications, improving air traffic control, increasing crop yields, monitoring environmental trends, employing millions of Americans and so much more. The new advanced capabilities offered by GPS Modernization including increased accuracy, availability, anti-jam power and international interoperability will impact the following applications:

  • Transportation
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Public Safety and Disaster Relief
  • Surveying and Mapping
  • Recreation

Economics of GPS

The economic benefits of GPS to the U.S. economy are significant. Beyond the military and civil applications that GPS technology enables, the direct economic benefits of GPS on commercial users is estimated to be greater than $68 billion annually in the United States.

While the primary focus of the U.S. Air Force’s GPS modernization plan is the addition of new navigation signals, GPS technology enables commercial users to benefit from greater precision, accuracy and timing information, which result in fuel savings, productivity and time savings, as well as improved public safety and national security.

GPS Modernization

GPS modernization is an ongoing effort to upgrade the space, control and user segments with new features and capabilities to maintain the U.S. Air Force GPS Constellation as the Gold Standard for global navigation satellite systems.

Existing performance limitations and the emergence of growing cyber threats drive the need for GPS modernization and Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) to ensure continued access to this global utility.

Raytheon is building the control segment that will operate the next generation of GPS satellites. GPS OCX will upgrade the existing legacy system. OCX is the next generation operational gateway service designed to provide secure, accurate and reliable navigation and timing information to effectively support military, commercial and civil users. GPS OCX will be the service integrator between ground, space and user segments to enhance mission command and control, and situational awareness capabilities, while seamlessly supporting billions of users around the world.

OCX will be developed in an incremental fashion that will deliver capabilities to the field and the required growth and flexibility to meet military and civil needs for the next 30 years.

Future OCX capabilities include enhanced space launch support, increased situational awareness for GPS operators and support for future satellite blocks with advanced capabilities such as new signals, NAVWAR capabilities, high-speed cross-links and additional payloads.

GPS OCX Delivers Advanced Capability to Support Military Users

By acting as a service bridge between the space and user segments, GPS OCX will enable an innovative, user-centric system, allowing users to experience the benefits of advanced technologies aboard satellites already in orbit and those yet to be built. OCX will increase system capacity and support the new GPS III satellites and is scalable to support future growth.

OCX segment updates GPS command and control (C2) and mission management capabilities, transforming the focus of GPS operations from satellite C2, to user-oriented, effects-based operations. In addition, GPS OCX will facilitate additional civil signals (L1C, L2C and L5) and new signal structures (M-Code) to provide navigation integrity, improved accuracy and increased availability.

OCX is built on a secure, service-oriented architecture that provides:

  • Command, Control and Mission Management for all GPS II and III spacecraft (GPS IIR-M, IIF and GPS III)
  • Control of all GPS signals, including modernized signals (M-code, L1C, L2C and L5)
  • Robust Information Assurance to protect against evolving cyber threats
  • Ability to plan and execute GPS NAVWAR missions
  • Reduced sustainment costs through automation and efficient software architecture
  • Flexibility to accommodate new functionality and evolving CONOPS
  • Net-ready and Global Information Grid compliance to ensure warfighters have access to secure, valuable real-time system information

The GPS OCX program meets and addresses the challenges facing GPS with a flexible, adaptable and modular architecture based on service-oriented principles. Its modern capabilities will be the cornerstone for revolutionizing GPS command and control (C2) mission ability and evolve global position, navigation and timing services to meet the current and future needs of civil, commercial and military users worldwide.

Raytheon and GPS

GPS technology has changed the way American people and businesses operate. GPS applications have improved the efficiency of business operations and reduced operating costs across an array of industries, including: farming, construction, transportation and aerospace. In addition, GPS has improved the lifestyle of citizens through communications, public safety, emergency response and so much more.

On Feb. 25, 2010, the U.S. Air Force selected Raytheon to develop a new element of the GPS to improve the accuracy and availability of GPS navigation signals. Raytheon brings to OCX a solid history of successful time-certain delivery spanning more than four decades, including experiences in deploying more than 110 unique high-availability satellite ground systems to key government, civil and commercial customers.

As the need for GPS capabilities has become ever so vital to military and civilian operations, Raytheon is poised to ensure the nation’s GPS system works around the clock anywhere on and above the planet.

Raytheon teammates include Boeing, ITT Exelis, Braxton Technologies, Infinity Systems Engineering and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Back to Top

Recent GPS News

Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Prototype Successfully Integrated with Raytheon OCX Ground Control Segment (Wall Street Journal)

Lockheed Martin + Raytheon — Exercise 3 For GPS III A Key Milestone Success (satnews.com)

Raytheon’s OCX Software For GPS III Satellites Completes Key Milestone (Defense Daily)

This GPS Exercise Is Definitely On Track (Satnews Daily)

Next Generation GPS Operational Control System Successfully Achieves Milestone B Approval (Los Angeles Air Force Base)

Contractors, USAF Prep For First GPS III-OCX Exercise In Late August (InsideDefense.com)

GPS Industry Descends on Capitol Hill (UPDATED) (NDIA)

Boeing, Raytheon and Harris to Pursue GPS Control Segment Sustainment Contract (Space Daily)

GPS III Satellite System and GPS OCX Have a Conversation (Inside GNSS)

National Space Club Announces 2012 Award Recipients (National Space Club)

Raytheon Insights

GPS Modernization Day on the Hill

Press Releases

Raytheon GPS Launch and Checkout capability receives Interim Authorization to Test
September 4, 2013

Raytheon completes second launch exercise for next generation GPS satellites
April 29, 2013

Lockheed Martin And Raytheon Complete First Launch Exercise For Next Generation GPS Satellites
September 5, 2012

Raytheon completes GPS OCX iteration 1.4 Critical Design Review
August 1, 2012


Raytheon GPS Helps Protect Our Military

GPS Interactive

Video Assets

The Truth About GPS: How it Works

On Target with GPS

Raytheon Products Rely on GPS

GPS & Navigation Systems (GNS)

Integrated Ship Systems

Precision Guided Munitions

Quick Links




GPS modernization

Related Organizations

U.S. Air Force

Global Positioning Systems Directorate