As assured access to position, navigation, and timing data (A-PNT) grows as a military concern, Northrop Grumman is updating its product line to create drop-in replacements for legacy aircraft PNT systems.
This effort is ongoing under the Embedded Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS)-Modernization (EGI-M) programme, for which the lead platforms are the US Navy's (USN's) Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and the US Air Force's (USAF's) Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.
In February 2019 Northrop Grumman announced it had been awarded a USD59 million USAF contract to begin an engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase for EGI-M. Northrop Grumman had previously worked on a risk reduction phase before the programme received 'Milestone B' approval in October 2018.
A new LN-351 navigator updates Northrop Grumman's legacy LN-251. The LN-351 is "meant for platforms that really just require an all-digital interface", Naveen Joshi, director of A-PNT programmes for Northrop Grumman, told Jane's on 8 May. The E-2D programme is using that system. The new LN-300 updates the company's digital and analogue LN-100 and is meant for the F-22.
"Those are product names that represent a number of different platforms that can use those products," Joshi said. "The LN-351 is meant to be really the core product for most customers because most of them don't require the analogue card, which is one of the options on the LN-300." Northrop Grumman is also planning an LN-360 that updates its legacy LN-260 navigator.
The units look different - and have different form factors - but share "a high degree of commonality" in subassemblies such as electronics, sensors, and software, Joshi said.
EGI-M is to incorporate next-generation GPS receivers that must be able to securely and accurately transmit new military signals for space (M-code) transmissions. Many legacy GPS receivers are not yet able to receive M-code, a more robust signal that is meant to be better protected against spoofing and jamming.
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