Inside GNSS Media & Research

MAR-APR 2018

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12 Inside GNSS M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 M ike Rogers, a key lawmaker in mil- itary space policy, appears willing to stick with the current program to build a more capable and cyber-secure GPS ground system despite his profound frustration with schedule delays and cost overruns and a recently revealed report from MITRE Corp. suggest- ing it be dropped. The Next G eneration Operational Control System (OCX) being developed by Raytheon is essential for the Air Force to be able to fully utilize the capabilities of the GPS III and GPS IIIF satellites. The program is five to six years behind and, according to a March 2017 report from the Government Account- ability Office, surged in cost from $3.6 billion in November 2012 to $5.5 bil- lion in September 2016 - a 53.2 percent increase in fiscal year 2017 dollars. e December report by MITRE, obtained and described by Bloomberg News, put the cost at $6.1 billion. The OCX contract was originally valued at slightly more than $1.5 billion with options, when it was awarded to Raytheon in 2010. "at program is a perfect example of the problem we have in the Air Force," Rogers (R-Alabama), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Sub- committee on Strategic Forces, said at the forum in late February. "We've had that black hole for money for years and it's still not able to be executed. And show me the person responsible for that. You can't. It's all those committees, they're all pointing at each other. 'Oh it's not me; it's them. It's not me; it's them.' In the mean- time we still don't have the capability and we don't see an end in sight, and this thing has been incredibly over budget." MITRE had reportedly suggested abandoning OCX in favor of upgrad- ing the Lockheed Martin ground system currently being used. When asked if he wanted to see the Air Force make more changes to try to reform that program - or to have it try to stabilize and execute on the current program of record - Rog- ers indicated a need to push forward. "I think we need to get it right," he told a CSIS forum on the FY19 space budget. "I don't think we should just stop with what it can do right now. But I don't see that happening. I've been so disap- pointed in that program." Rogers shared the stage with Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee), his committee's ranking member. e Strategic National Security Space: FY19 Budget Forum was held February 28 in Washington, D.C. "Properly understood," said Cooper, "the Constitution makes Congress a board of directors. We shouldn't micro- manage. We should look at the big policy decisions and then let capable services implement them. But this is a situation that really is a nightmare. To have satel- lite capability and no ground communi- cations for over a decade and really no hope in sight - and with no accountabil- ity. is would never stand for a second in the corporate world. And the corpo- rate world is not perfect but at least there tends to be accountability." Cooper, who did not suggest during the forum that OCX should be changed or dropped, agrees with Rogers that there should be a separate Space Corps as a way to elevate and speed military space programs and increase accountability. is full article can be read online at Army Looks to Speed Assured PNT T he Army is leaning toward using a funding channel designed for fast deals with high-tech entrepreneurs to Key House Chairman Sticks with GPS OCX Despite Issues, MITRE Criticism See Additional News Stories at • FCC Authorizes New Iridium Terminals, Dismisses GPS Concerns • GSA's Info Day in Prague Addresses Funding Opportunities, Galileo Projects • Cooperation, Competition Common Themes at Munich Satellite Navigation Summit • GSA and Thales Launch the EDG²E Project to Further Optimize Aviation Navigation with Galileo . . . and more. News from the world of GNSS DEGREES At the budget forum, (left to right) Representatives Jim Cooper and Mike Rogers, along with Todd Harrison, director, aerospace security project, CSIS, spoke about GPS OCX concerns and updates. YouTube photo: Center for Strategic & International Studies

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