15 Sep 2017

US Army awards GPS M-Code Early Use Ground System contract

Lockheed Martin has been awarded $45.5 million contract to provide Military Code (M-Code) Early Use (MCEU) capability to the Global Positioning System (GPS) by the US Air Force.

M-Code is an advanced, new signal designed to improve anti-jamming and protection from spoofing, as well as to increase secure access, to military GPS signals for US and allied armed forces.

MCEU will provide command and control of M-Code capability to eight GPS IIR-M and 12 GPS IIF satellites currently on orbit, as well as future GPS III satellites, which the Air Force expects will begin launching in 2018.

As part of the contract, Lockheed Martin will upgrade the existing Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP) Operational Control System (OCS) allowing it to task, upload and monitor M-Code within the GPS constellation. The contract includes new software and hardware development which will be deployed in 2019 to world-wide ground facilities that support the Air Force’s GPS.

The AEP OCS is currently maintained by Lockheed Martin under the GPS Control Segment (GCS) Sustainment Contract and controls the 12 GPS IIR, 8 IIR-M and 12 IIF satellites in orbit today.

Mark Stewart, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Navigation Systems commented: “When people think of GPS, they often think of the satellites that provide the signals, but do not remember the important ground system behind it.

“We recognise the ‘ground’ is critical for any major space mission constellation and we are proud that we can help the Air Force with this part of their GPS modernisation plan.”

image © Lockheed Martin

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