Boeing said June 5 it is teaming with Raytheon and Harris Corp. to pursue a contract the U.S. Air Force intends to award this year for sustainment work on the current generation of ground hardware and software that controls the nation’s fleet of GPS navigation satellites.

The Air Force plans to release a request for proposals June 19 for the GPS Control Segment Sustainment (GCSS) contract, which will extend the current GPS Operational Control Segment until it transitions to the next-generation system, GPS OCX, which has experienced delays. Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems of Aurora, Colo., was awarded a nearly $900 million contract for GPS OCX in February 2010.

Boeing, Raytheon and Harris signed an agreement to pursue the GCSS contract as a team in early May, according to Boeing spokeswoman Lynn Farrow. Other team members include CRGT, Infinity Systems Engineering, Boecore, Expert Methods Inc., a.i. Solutions and RT Logic.

“This team brings together the best of industry in the current GPS sustainment effort and ensures a smooth transition to the next-generation system,” Sparky Olsen, the director of Boeing Mission Operations, said in a statement.

OCX is being developed to operate the next-generation GPS 3 satellites being built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems under a billion dollar prime contract the Denver-based company won in 2008 by beating Boeing, which built the generation of GP Ssatellites that are currently being launched.

The Boeing-built GPS 2F-3 satellite is scheduled to launch in October on a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket. Next March, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 is slated to carry GPS 2F-4 to orbit.

The Air Force expects to launch the first GPS 3 satellite in 2015.

Peter B. de Selding was the Paris bureau chief for SpaceNews.