GAO: Program Delays Prevent DOD From Rolling Out Jam-Resistant GPS Tech

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A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has found that the Department of Defense (DOD) is yet to achieve widespread use of the “M-code” GPS technology due to limitations in satellite equipment to accommodate the jam-resistant capability.

GAO said Tuesday the DOD has seen delays in developing and deploying receiver equipment that will enable military GPS users to fully utilize the more secure, harder-to-jam M-code signals being broadcast on modern GPS satellites.

M-code’s complexity could pose challenges in integrating related technologies with various weapons systems. A GPS system must consist of receivers, satellites and ground control infrastructure to operate efficiently, according to the report.

GAO added that the DOD initially intended to incorporate the M-code receiver into F/A-18 fighter aircraft, MH-53E helicopter and  AV-8B strike aircraft but terminated plans due to delays.

The U.S. Air Force also experienced a one-year delay in its effort to develop M-code technology for testing on the U.S. Army’s Stryker platform and the U.S. Marine Corps’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

A new schedule for testing is yet to be announced. Assessments are in place to identify causes for production and integration obstacles in DOD programs, GAO noted.

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