NEWTOWN, Pa., Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and Raytheon Company [NYSE: RTN] successfully completed the third of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate the launch readiness of the world's most powerful and accurate Global Positioning System (GPS), the U.S. Air Force's next generation GPS III satellite and Operational Control System (OCX).
Successful completion of Exercise 3, on August 1, was a key milestone demonstrating Raytheon's OCX software meets mission requirements and is on track to support the launch of the first GPS III satellite, currently being produced by Lockheed Martin. Two additional readiness exercises and six 24/7 launch rehearsals are planned prior to launch of the first GPS III satellite in 2015.
Using new installments of Raytheon's OCX software and Lockheed Martin's GPS III Launch and Checkout Capability (LCC), the Air Force Global Positioning System Directorate and the industry team completed a launch and early orbit exercise over a three-day period in late July. Exercise 3 demonstrated space-ground communications; first acquisition and transfer orbit sequences; orbit-raising maneuver planning and execution; and basic anomaly detection and resolution capabilities. In addition, the industry and customer teams jointly executed mission planning activities, such as orbit determination and the generation of upload command files.
Exercise 3 expands on two previous exercises, with a longer mission timeline, and the introduction of simulated vehicle and ground anomalies to evaluate the combined response capabilities of the control segment, satellite and operations crew. "Successful completion of Exercise 3 clearly demonstrates that OCX is on track to support the first GPS III satellite launch," stated Matt Gilligan, a vice president with Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business and Raytheon's GPS OCX program manager. "The system responded as designed, and met all of the launch exercise success criteria and successfully demonstrated our anomaly response.""Exercise 3 demonstrated that the cross-organizational operations team is on track to support successful GPS III launch and on-orbit checkout missions from our Newtown facility. I look forward to the team's continued success as they progress through the complex mission readiness program towards the first GPS III launch," said Keoki Jackson, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Navigation Systems mission area. The Lockheed Martin-developed GPS III satellites and Raytheon's OCX are critical elements of the U.S. Air Force's effort to modernize the GPS enterprise more affordably while improving capabilities to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide.