The United States Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center is undertaking a three-year effort to loan U.S. allies Military Code (M-Code) Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver cards for testing.
Last December, Canada became the first partner to sign the agreement, and Space Force delivered the first receiver cards last month. France, Germany, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom are also to receive Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) Increment 1 technology.
“All partnering nations will conduct laboratory and field tests to evaluate the performance and compatibility of MGUE Increment 1 products with their respective platforms and share their findings and lessons learned,” SMC said in a March 25 statement. “Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden have expressed interest and intent in joining the agreement later this year.”
Military officials have said that 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.
M-Code is to provide more resilient positioning, navigation and timing along with better security, anti-jam and anti-spoof features.
BAE Systems said last month that it is working to design and build an advanced, 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 SMC last November (Defense Daily, Feb. 17).
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.
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.