GPS Modernization: DOD Continuing to Develop New Jam-Resistant Capability, But Widespread Use Remains Years Away (GAO-21-145) (Jan. 19, 2021) (full-text).
The Department of Defense (DOD) is closer to being able to use military code (M-code) — a stronger, more secure signal for the Global Positioning System (GPS) designed to meet military needs. However, due to the complexity of the technology, M-code remains years away from being widely fielded across DOD. M-code-capable receiver equipment includes different components, and the development and manufacture of each is key to the modernization effort. These include:
- special M-code application-specific integrated circuit chips,
- special M-code receiver cards, being developed under the Air Force Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) programs, and
- the next generation of GPS receivers capable of using M-code signals from GPS satellites.
The Air Force is almost finished—approximately one year behind schedule— developing and testing one M-code card for testing on the Marine Corps Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and the Army Stryker vehicle. However, one card intended for use in aircraft and ships is significantly delayed and missed key program deadlines. The Air Force is revising its schedule for testing this card.