BAE Systems announced a $247 million contract with the U.S. Space Force on Wednesday to develop M-code enabled global positioning system receivers. Photo courtesy of BAE Systems
Feb. 17 (UPI) -- BAE Systems on Wednesday announced a $247 million contract with the U.S. Space Force on Wednesday to manufacture an advanced global positioning system receiver.
The Space and Missile Systems Center of the USSF seeks smaller and lighter receivers capable of jam-resistant M-code, or military code, GPS signals.
The technology is designed to provide positioning, navigation and timing capabilities to warfighters to execute missions in challenging electromagnetic environments, BAE Systems said in a statement on Wednesday.
The hardware, known as Military GPS User Equipment Increment 2 Miniature Serial Interface, corresponds to Lockheed Martin-made satellites currently broadcasting in M-code.
While the satellites have been orbiting the earth for months, the delivery of receivers has been slow, with only several hundred M-code receivers deployed by the U.S. military.
A January 2021 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office was critical of the Defense Department's inability to develop proper GPS receivers on an appropriate timeline, noting that wide-scale use of M-code receivers remained years away.
"Integration across DOD will be a considerable effort involving hundreds of different weapon systems, including some with complex and unique integration needs or configurations," the GAO report said in part.
BAE Systems intends to roll out two M-code receivers for handheld and vehicle use while deploying precision-guided munitions, and another designed for GPS-guided missiles and bombs.
The signal technology is designed to be jam-proof to protect against electronic warfare threats, the company said.
BAE Systems' contract is part of a $552 million contract it shares with Raytheon and L3Harris, revealed by the Defense Department in November 2020, Space News reported.