Air Force Grants First Full Security Certification For Next Generation Military GPS User Equipment

October 11, 2016 – The Global Positioning System (GPS) Directorate within the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) granted the first-ever full security certification for the Department of Defense’s (DoD) next generation Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) program to contractor L-3 Interstate Electronics Corporation.

“Achieving Security Certification is a major step for the MGUE program. It represents not only a decade’s worth of tireless team effort from both L-3 and the Air Force, but also proof that this ground-breaking technology is ready to provide the secure anti-jam, anti-spoof capability demanded by our warfighters,” said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile Systems Center’s commander and Air Force program officer for space. “I congratulate the men and women whose hard work and commitment made this possible”

In addition, this major GPS modernization milestone is a successful step towards delivering Military Code (M-Code) capability, a key element in the modernization of the DoD’s Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) capabilities.

MGUE receivers acquire and process M-Code signals transmitted from modernized GPS satellites while retaining all legacy capabilities provided by current military GPS receivers. The M-Code signal offers a number of improvements to receiver performance, including higher-power signal capability offering better resistance to jamming and interference; advanced security features to prevent unauthorized access or exploitation by adversaries; and improved message formats and signal modulation techniques for more accurate and resilient performance.

Security certification for L-3 IEC’s ground-embedded receiver is all the more notable as Congress has mandated that only M-Code capable receivers may be purchased by the DoD starting in fiscal year 2018. This marks a critical first step towards achieving the Congressional mandate for the MGUE industry team.

The Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the U.S. Air Force’s center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.