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BAE Systems unveils new M-Code-capable GPS receiver

An RQ-5 Hunter UAS is equipped with the GPS-enabled Viper Strike munition. (MBDA)

The newest variant of the BAE Systems-built global positioning system (GPS) guided weapons receiver will be capable of transmitting across Military Code (M-Code) signals, company officials announced this week.

The new Strategic Anti-jam Beamforming Receiver – M-Code (SABR-M) GPS receiver leverages “advanced beamforming technology” to improve signal reception across military and civilian GPS spectrums, while meeting size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements in unmanned aerial systems (UAS), precision-guided munitions, and advanced missile systems, according to a 7 June company statement.

“We're making our full portfolio of military GPS solutions M-Code-compatible to meet warfighters' need for reliable positioning, navigation, and timing data to achieve their missions,” said Doug Lloyd, director of weapon systems GPS at BAE Systems, in the 7 June statement.

Company officials anticipate that the new M-Code-capable SABR will be ready for full-rate production at the end of 2022. Production will take place at BAE Systems' new facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, according to the statement.

A majority of GPS capabilities for assured positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) aboard the US armed forces' weapon systems are based on Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM)-enabled GPS PNT. At its core, SAASM capabilities consist of an enhanced security architecture for GPS signal transmission, which is designed to encrypt and decipher signals via ‘over-the-air' rekeying of signal receivers.

M-Code, on the other hand, is a military-only GPS signal located in the L1 and L2 GPS bands that utilises a higher power signal, advanced message encryption formats, and signal modulation techniques to improve transmissions while hardening the signal against electronic warfare (EW) or signals intelligence (SIGINT) threats.

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