Air Force's new satellite control system over budget by $1.1 billion

Sen. John McCain   The Office of Sen. John McCain

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently revealed a cost-growth of more than $1.1 billion in the Air Force’s ground-based satellite control system and stations (OCX).

In his latest “America’s Most Wasted: Indefensible” report, McCain stated that substandard contractor performance and drawbacks in the Pentagon’s acquisition and software development practices both substantially contributed to an unforeseen delay in the completion of OCX.

As a critical component of the next generation Global Positioning System (GPS) essential to U.S. military capabilities and national security, OCX will be stymied by an estimated four-year delay and will ultimately cost taxpayers approximately $2 billion, McCain said.

“There is no doubt that GPS technology has transformed our global information infrastructure, providing essential navigation and communications capabilities that our military needs to maintain an edge over our adversaries,” McCain said. “So when it comes to modernizing this critical technology, we can’t afford to get it wrong. It is simply unacceptable that the American taxpayer is now on the hook for an additional $1.1 billion because the Air Force continues to bungle the development of critical ground-based operational control systems and stations for the next generation GPS, which are already expected to be four years behind schedule.”

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