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Pentagon Budget 2022: US Space Force expanding M-Code GPS capability

The US Space Force (USSF) is eyeing fiscal year (FY) 2022 as the window for service officials to make large strides in the development and integration of Military Code (M-Code)-enabled global positioning system (GPS) capabilities into fixed-wing and maritime surface warfare combatants.

Space force acquisition officials requested USD434.1 million for Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) development, testing, and fielding as part of the service's FY 2022 budget request. The request represented a USD94 million increase over the service's FY 2021 spending proposal of USD340.7 million for MGUE research and development, according to the FY 2022 budget justification documents.

“Space acquisition must respond with speed and agility to emerging adversary threats ... [and] increase innovation and resiliency, leveraging international, commercial and mission partnerships, and managing programme priorities according to an integrated unclassified [and] classified enterprise space architecture,” USSF officials wrote.

“Expanding the appropriate acquisition authorities and contract mechanisms to deliver capability sooner, [officials] will strategically execute experimentation, prototyping, risk reduction, and other efforts to develop new or repurpose existing capabilities,” they added, according to the justification documents.

Of the USD94 million called for in FY 2022, USD78 million will go towards continued financing of development efforts tied to MGUE Increment 1, the documents stated. The funds will go towards the completion of outstanding MGUE Increment 1 development requirements from FY 2021 and finance new initiatives for the programme, they added.

The objective of MGUE Increment 1 is the development of “a new family of modernised GPS receivers that will deliver significantly improved capability” via M-Code integration, which are specifically designed to counter Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing (APNT) threats that have proven successful against legacy GPS receiver platforms, USSF officials said.

A B-2 Spirit stealth bomber departs Lajes Field, Azores, on March 16, 2021. The B-2 will be outfitted with the M-Code-enabled MGUE Increment I GPS receiver.   (509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs, US Air Force)

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