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M-Code is a new anti-spoofing, anti-jamming GPS signal designated for military use. With adversaries trying to jam and spoof signals to disrupt forces and make precision munitions miss their marks, there’s a growing need for trusted GPS, which M-Code delivers.
BAE Systems will deliver the first batch of new military GPS user equipment (MGUE) to Germany, after being awarded a Foreign Military Sales contract by the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Production Corps.
Germany was the first state to order new military GPS user equipment which will be able to access M-Code. “When your life depends on GPS, you want to make sure you receive the signal and that it’s real,” Greg Wild, BAE Systems’ Director of Navigation and Sensor Systems, said.
“The initial contract value for the FMS sale of M-Code GPS receivers to Germany is relatively small, but the contract is a ‘pathfinder’ for other FMS sales,” Wild told C4ISRNET.
Germany will be the first U.S. ally to receive new M-Code ready receivers.
There are now 24 GPS satellites on orbit capable of broadcasting M-Code — the number needed for full operational capability of the space segment. Delays with the ground and user segments, however, means that the full M-Code capability is still unavailable.
A 2019 Government Accountability Office report noted that the $6.2 billion Next Generation Operational Control System being built by Raytheon Technologies to control GPS III satellites and M-Code was five years behind schedule. In March 2020, it was announced that the Space Force would pay $378 million to replace the system’s computer hardware because the vendor had been sold to a Chinese company. Delivery of OCX Blocks 1 and 2 is expected in 2022.
In response to the delay, the US Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a contract in 2017 to upgrade the current GPS ground system with M-Code Early Use, a limited version of the signal that can operate in the interim. MCEU upgrades were completed in July 2020 and the Space Force declared operational acceptance in November, according to defensenews.com.