The U.S. Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) announced on November 23 that Germany has ordered jam-resistant Global Positioning System receivers from the United States military, making it the first buyer of the advanced GPS user equipment under the Foreign Military Sales program.
The U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program manages the transfer of defence articles, services, and training to international partners.
The Space and Missile Systems Center of The United States announced that Germany ordered the undisclosed quantity of Military Code (M-Code) capable GPS user equipment on September 30.
The sale of M-Code user equipment to 58 nations was approved by the secretary of the Air Force and the office of the secretary of defence. The delivery of the equipment to Germany is expected in 2021.
According to SpaceNews, SMC also stated that additional foreign military sales of M-Code user equipment is set to take place soon. “We’re engaged with several nations in bilateral M-Code prototyping, demonstration, and lead platform planning efforts.”
M-Code is an advanced upgrade of GPS signals, providing enhanced secure positioning, navigation, and timing, along with anti-jam and anti-spoofing functionalities.
According to SMC, the sale of this equipment to allies helps “improve interoperability with our defense partners’ equipment.”
M-Code receivers were being developed for the last ten years under a $1.4 billion program, known as Military Global Positioning System User Equipment.
GPS user equipment consists of receivers, antennas, and other electronics, which together help provide critical navigation and time information, transmitted from GPS satellites.
Since 2012, Raytheon, L3Harris, and BAE Systems (which bought over Rockwell Collins’ military GPS business) have been contractually producing M-Code receivers. Presently, the M-Code signal is being broadcast by 22 of the 31 GPS satellites in operation.