Valerio indicates Lockheed will continue to lobby for the potential change. “We have to convince the general,” he jokes.
The switch would involve moving from the older Ada language used in the SBIRS processor to the C++ language in the GPS satellite.
Pawlikowski says that other cost and capability improvement initiatives have, however, been adopted where the risk is deemed acceptable.
The decision has been made, for example, to configure future GPS III satellites with a digital waveform generator because it offers “a huge payoff,” she adds. Despite all the initiatives coming in, Pawlikowski says “my first priority is I have got to provide the capability our services count on.”
Boeing Network and Space Systems President Roger Krone, meanwhile, says changes in Air Force procurement practices are already benefitting the cost of producing the WGS 2F military communications satellite. Since the contract was restructured to cut down the amount of government oversight involved in monitoring construction, Krone says the “tooth-to-tail ratio” has changed. “That’s a good thing,” he adds.