Air Force Space Command Says GPS Has Never Failed To Exceed
Air Force Space Command, which has responsibility for
sustaining and maintaining the Global Positioning System, said
Friday that it feels a GAO report critical of the system is overly
pessimistic, and doesn't adequately acknowledge what AFSPC has done
to address constellation sustainment. The Air Force said in a news
release that it has created the largest, most accurate
constellation, with the greatest capability, in the history of GPS;
with 31 operational satellites currently on orbit. This is well
above the 24 minimum satellites needed for a full constellation and
to meet constellation performance standards. Since 1995, GPS has
never failed to exceed performance standards.
The report was titled "Global Positioning System: Challenges in
Sustaining and Upgrading Capabilities Persist."
AFSPC is working to mitigate the challenges identified by the
GAO through a number of activities, including: applying a "back to
basics" approach to acquisition, continuing to identify additional
ways to maximize the life of our operational satellites,
implementing robust mission assurance processes, and transforming
our launch enterprise.
The first GPS IIF satellite completed on-orbit testing and
checkout and was set operational on Aug. 26 as planned. The GPS IIF
program is ready for full rate production and continues to build
confidence in its production line. Through the institution of
robust mission assurance processes, AFSPC is confident in the
future of the GPS IIF program.
The follow-on program, GPS IIIA, recently completed critical
design review, two months ahead of schedule. AFSPC is optimistic
that it's "back to basics" approach, including stable requirements,
mature technologies, and more government oversight, will ensure a
successful program, providing the GPS IIIA and its ground segment,
OCX, within a timeframe that maintains a robust GPS constellation
and supports GPS users.
AFSPC takes great pride in providing GPS performance that
exceeds our requirements for the system. AFSPC is committed to the
modernization of GPS and is on the path to ensure continued
positioning, navigation and timing support to the warfighter, the
civil user, and the world.