WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The GAO explained in the report that additional work is necessary to integrate GPS III with over 700 weapon systems.
"The Air Force continues to struggle with keeping multiple, highly compressed, interdependent and concurrent program schedules synchronized in order to sustain and modernize the GPS constellation," the report said on Tuesday. "The Department of Defense therefore risks paying to repeatedly find design solutions to solve common problems because each program office is likely to undertake its own uncoordinated development effort."
GPS III will be controlled by a ground control system known as OCX. The satellites will beam a signal using military code, or M-Code, which is encrypted and has improved signal strength. GPS III will broadcast a civilian user signal — known as L1C — that will operate with European, Japanese and other satellite systems.
The GAO also said the next generation ground station control system, or OCX, is at risk for further delays and cost growth.
"To mitigate continuing delays to the new ground control system, the Air Force has begun a second new program — Military-code (M-code) Early Use — to deliver an interim, limited broadcast encrypted GPS signal for military use by modifying the current ground system," the report said.
The preliminary estimate for integrating and testing a fraction of the 700 large and small weapon systems that need the receiver cards is over $2.5 billion through fiscal year 2021, and the cost will increase by billions when as yet unfunded weapon systems are included, according to the report.