BAE Systems said on Feb. 17 that it is working to design and build an advanced, Global Positioning System (GPS) M-Code receiver and next generation semiconductor to provide improved positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) for U.S. and allied military forces in electronic jamming environments under a $247 million contract from the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) last November.
SMC also awarded a total of $305 million to Interstate Electronics Corp. for work in Anaheim, Calif., and Raytheon Technologies [RTX] for work in El Segundo, Calif.
Last July, BAE acquired Raytheon Technologies’ GPS receiver business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for more than $1.9 billion (Defense Daily, Aug. 7, 2020). The business unit, which was part of Collins Aerospace, is now BAE Systems’ Navigation and Sensor Systems and will perform BAE’s work on the new M-Code GPS receiver. The business has fielded more than 1.5 million devices on nearly 300 weapons and platforms.
“The Military GPS User Equipment Increment 2 Miniature Serial Interface program will provide improved capabilities for size-constrained and power-constrained military GPS applications, including precision-guided munitions and battery-powered handheld devices,” BAE Systems said in a Feb. 17 statement. “The program will focus on the certification of an advanced application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and the development of an ultra-small, low-power GPS module. Both products will work with the next-generation military M-Code signal technology, which provides reliable GPS data with anti-jamming and anti-spoofing capabilities to protect against electronic warfare threats.”
Greg Wild, director of BAE Systems’ Navigation and Sensor Systems, said in the statement that the company’s M-Code receiver and next-generation ASIC “will enable secure and reliable military GPS capabilities in a broader range of platforms.”
Last August, BAE Systems said that about 65 percent of the business unit’s devices are on precision missiles and the rest on various airborne and ground platforms and man-portable systems.
Key products in BAE’s Precision Strike business have included the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System laser-guided rocket for which BAE provides a mid-body guidance section that converts an unguided 70mm rocket into a laser-guided rocket. The business also provides a long-range precision guidance kit for artillery projectiles and the seeker for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile defense system.
The demand for M-Code is likely to grow significantly, due to the electronic warfare capabilities of China and Russia and the ability of relatively low-technology adversaries to interfere with GPS signals.
As a stop-gap capability for GPS-denied environments until M-Code achieves full integration, the Air Force has been working to buy the Strategic Anti-jam Beam-forming Receiver Y-code (SABR-Y) GPS and antenna kits for Boeing [BA] Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) in response to an urgent operational need (UON) from Pacific Air Forces in February 2018 (Defense Daily, July 17, 2020).
Boeing received an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity $800 million contract last March for JDAM, including more than 23,000 JDAMs in Lot 24, and a majority of the units in Lot 24 are the SABR-Y variant, according to the company.
Air Force procurement of SABR-Y began with 1,000 of 45,000 JDAMs in a Lot 22 award on March 30, 2018.