WASHINGTON — Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems of Aurora, Colo., nabbed an $886.4 million U.S. Air Force contract to build the next-generation ground segment for the GPS satellite navigation constellation, the Defense Department announced Feb. 25.

Raytheon bested competitor Northrop Grumman Information Systems of Reston, Va., to win the GPS Operational Control Segment, or OCX, contract. Both companies began working in November 2008 on OCX risk reduction activities, efforts on which the government spent more than $350 million. The companies submitted final proposals to the Air Force last summer.

The contract enables production of the first two development blocks of GPS OCX, which will control each variant of GPS 2-series satellites as well as the next-generation GPS 3 satellites that are expected to begin launching in 2014, according to a Feb. 26 Raytheon press release. GPS OCX will include anti-jam capabilities and improved security, accuracy and reliability, and it will be based on open standards, the company said.

Raytheon’s OCX team includes ITT Corp., Boeing Co., Infinity Systems Engineering, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Braxton Technologies.