The US Air Force is looking at “outside options” to battle against further project delays and cost over-runs on Raytheon troubled ground control system for next-generation GPS satellites
Reuters said that the Air Force would continue with the Raytheon project after a review resulted in a further two-year delay and potential cost increases.
Raytheon won a contract worth up to $1.5 billion in 2010 to develop the GPS Operational Control System, or OCX, to operate the next generation GPS 3 satellites being built by Lockheed Martin.
By December 2014, the programme’s projected cost had soared to $3.6 billion, including inflation, due to increased cyber security requirements and poor contractor performance.
The Air Force officials think now that the programme could require an additional 47-month delay that could send its total cost, including inflation, as high as $5.6 billion.
Some Air Force officials that the programme was now beyond the worst of its problem, but others are less certain calling the whole thing a big mess.
A new contractor would take too long, but the current plan leaves the Air Force with no way to test or use the full capabilities of its new GPS 3 satellites for years after they were launched.
Frank Kendall, and Raytheon Chief Executive Tom Kennedy apparently are trying to contingency plans to use older GPS ground control system could be used to operate the new GPS 3 satellites until the new system was done.
Meanwhile the Air Force is working on an alternative ground control system and explore options outside the OCX program, including adding military code functions to other systems, to hedge against further cost growth and delays.