You can hardly talk about U.S. military and defense systems without mentioning Raytheon. The same company that introduced an iPhone app for the battlefield
a few months ago has just announced a huge contract win that could change the way GPS is viewed and used forever. And if you've ever wished that you could find a signal in a crowded city or have a GPS unit with more accuracy, there's a good chance you'll appreciate this.
The United States Air Force has selected Raytheon for an "initial contract of $886 million to develop a new element of the Global Positioning System to improve the accuracy of information from GPS satellites." GPS
is fantastic, and it's even available on most smartphones, but for anyone who has tried to find a very specific address before, they would know that the accuracy can certainly be "off" sometimes. The contract represents the first two development blocks of the advanced control segment (OCX), which will have a significant impact on GPS capabilities. The OCX system will include anti-jam capabilities and improved security, accuracy and reliability and will be based on a modern service-oriented architecture to integrate government and industry open-system standards. Lynn Dugle, president of Raytheon's Intelligence and Information Systems business, had this to say about the new partnership:
"We are excited to partner with the Air Force to provide the best-value GPS control system for the future. Raytheon's broad experience in delivering satellite-to-ground command and control systems will ensure that our nation's military and civil GPS users worldwide are provided new capabilities."
This new OCX promises the dramatically affect GPS command, control and mission capabilities and make it eaiser for the operations team to run the current GPS block II and all future GPS satellites, and if you think accuracy is important when it comes time to find that out-of-town dry cleaning place, just imagine how important it is when you're talking about tactical strategies in military deployment.