Military GPS user equipment capability heads to allies

March 30, 2021  - By

The United States Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has established a three-year multinational Project Arrangement that authorizes the loan of military code (M-code) capable GPS precise positioning service receiver cards to partnering nations for laboratory and field testing.

The arrangement — established in close coordination with the Department of Defense, Chief Information Officer and the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs — took effect in December 2020 when Canada became the first co-signer of the document.

The first receiver cards were delivered in February. France, Germany, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom also are projected 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. Australia, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden have expressed interest and intent to join the agreement later this year.

M-code is an upgrade to the currently available GPS signals that provides more resilient positioning, navigation and timing solutions with enhanced security, anti-jam and anti-spoof capabilities.

The SMC, located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Providing MGUE to U.S. allies is an example of SMC delivering vital capabilities to the warfighter and users around the world.

Besides GPS, SMC’s portfolio includes space launch, military satellite communications, a meteorological satellite control network, range systems, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.

Feature photo: U.S. Army

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.