U.S. Space Force asks Raytheon to swap computer gear in new GPS control center from IBM to Hewlett Packard

April 2, 2020
The OCX will command GPS navigation satellites, manage civil and military navigation signals, and provide improved cyber security for GPS operations.

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – U.S. Air Force satellite navigation experts are asking the Raytheon Co. to switch-out IBM computer equipment from a next-generation GPS control system and replace it with computers from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in San Jose, Calif.

Officials of the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., announced a $378.1 million order this week to the Raytheon Intelligence, Information, and Services segment in Aurora, Colo., for the Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control Segment (OCX) for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) replacing International Business Machines (IBM) Project.

The order calls for Raytheon -- the OCX prime contractor -- to replace IBM equipment with Hewlett Packard equipment for all OCX Block 1 deliverable environments.

The IBM computer product line specified for the OCX was sold to Lenovo, a Chinese company, in 2014, which U.S. government authorities declared creates an unacceptable cyber risk for a mission-critical system like OCX.

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GPS experts at the Air Force and newly created U.S. Space Force waited until now to order the computer equipment switch-out because Raytheon has shown progress in delivering OCX systems with sufficient performance.

The Air Force chose Hewlett Packard to replace the IBM computer hardware, resulting from a trade study in 2017. Hewlett-Packard computers were installed in 17 OCX external monitoring stations and four ground antenna sites to demonstrate that Hewlett-Packard computers would work in the new GPS control system.

OCX will command modernized and legacy Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation satellites, manage civil and military navigation signals, and provide improved cyber security for GPS operations.

The new system has a master control station and alternate master control station; dedicated monitor stations; ground antennas; GPS system simulator; and standardized space trainer.

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The Air Force accepted the OCX block 0 system in November 2017, which control launch and early orbit operations and the on-orbit checkout of all GPS III satellites. It provides the hardware, software, and cyber security for OCX block 1.

Raytheon won a $886 million contract to develop the OCX next-generation GPS control segment in 2010. On this order Raytheon will do the work in Aurora, Colo., and should be finished by April 2022.

For more information contact Raytheon Intelligence, Information, and Services online at www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/gps_ocx, or the Space and Missile Systems Center at www.afspc.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/1012587/space-and-missile-systems-center.

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