U.S. military efforts to field jam-resistant GPS weaponry not only run behind schedule, they continue to fall back, according to the annual report from the Department of Defense (DoD) Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) Nickolas Guertin. Because “the lack of M-code capable receivers limits the M-code use by U.S. and allied warfighters,” branches of the Armed Forces are now sourcing directly from commercial suppliers.
The OCX ground control system, destined to manage the GPS III constellation, and M-Code-enabled military GPS user equipment (MGUE) have yet to viably appear upon the scene, though the initially projected delivery dates for each have long since passed.
“Full control of modernized civil and M-code signals and navigation warfare functions, as well as improved cybersecurity, continue to be delayed due to ongoing development and deployment delays of the next generation Operational Control System (OCX), along with delays in the fielding of M-code capable receivers for use by the U.S. and allied warfighters.”
Continued delays of final software and hardware builds by MGUE Increment 1 vendors have impacted test schedules and created fears that, once finally produced and fielded, the equipment may incorporate obsolete components or be itself obsolete.
“Consequently, the Army and Marine Corps decided not to field their respective platforms with the ground-based MGUE Increment 1 card. . . . the Services have turned to commercially available, MGUE-derived M-code receivers to continue meeting PNT requirements. Those systems will undergo operational testing outside of the MGUE Increment 1 program of record.”