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Cost of modernised GPS ground control system soars

US: The cost of a modernised ground control system for GPS satellites has increased $3.4 billion above its original $1.4 billion price tag, the Pentagon reported. Meanwhile, delays in development of the ground control system pushed back the launch of GPS III satellites with enhanced encryption and new civil navigation signals by more than a year.

The Defense Department added the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System to its annual Selected Acquisition Report, which summarises the latest estimates of cost, schedule and performance status for key military programmes.

The report did not detail the reasons for the cost increase to the GPS Operational Control System, which Raytheon Co. has been developing since February 2010.

Maj. Eric Badger, an Air Force spokesman, explained the $3.4 billion cost for the GPS ground control system as an accounting exercise.

He said that initial costs for the project were based on programme office estimates while the $3.4 billion reflects Pentagon Milestone B approval for engineering and development in October 2012. He said that figure establishes a baseline for the programme that will be the point from which future changes will be measured.

Source: Next Gov