The next-generation GPS Ground Control system (OCX) under the direction of prime contractor Raytheon did not pass the recently concluded initial Preliminary Design Review (PDR).

Not passing this critical PDR inspection so early in the OCX process and in the current fiscal environment (Congress has already trimmed the modernization budget and shifted elements to the right) constitutes a blow to the GPS modernization effort. It adds to the worry concerning the OCX-GPSIIIA gap, having to do with the ability to launch the Lockheed-produced GPS IIIA SVs and payloads that are currently scheduled to be ready for launch a full 14-16 months before the OCX ground system was originally scheduled to be able to control the launch.

That timeline undoubtedly stretches to the right with this latest development.