skip to main content

Sentinel air-defence radar to receive M-Code capability

Lockheed Martin and Orolia Defense & Security will begin integrating mission timing and synchronisation units, capable of transmitting via Military Code (M-Code) signal, into the US Army's Sentinel A4 air and missile defence radar system.

Officials from Orolia delivered the initial shipment of M-Code-enabled SecureSync rack-mounted synchronisation platforms to Sentinel prime integrator Lockheed Martin in May, for implementation into the newest tranche of Sentinel A4 air defence radar systems. “SecureSync with M-Code provides enhanced resilient positioning, navigation, and timing [PNT] capabilities and improved resistance to existing and emerging GPS threats, such as jamming and spoofing,” according to a statement issued by Orolia.

Traditional Assured-Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (A-PNT) and Global Positioning System (GPS) subsystems on military platforms operate predominantly on Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM)-enabled GPS PNT capabilities. 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 or signals intelligence threats.

Sentinel A3 system is an X-Band, Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based system with a scan rate of 30 RPM and a maximum 360º detection range of 40 km. Employed with electronic countermeasures, the Sentinel can be deployed with an army ground unit on a towed platform or operated autonomously from a forward location ahead of a unit's position via wideband fibre-optic datalinks or Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS).

An image of the Lockheed Martin-built Sentinel A4 radar enabled with Orolia's M-Code-capable PNT solution. (Lockheed Martin)

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...