WASHINGTON — Germany has ordered jam-resistant Global Positioning System receivers from the United States military, becoming the first buyer of the advanced GPS user equipment under the Foreign Military Sales program, the U.S. Space and Missile Systems Center announced Nov. 23.

Foreign Military Sales is the U.S. government’s program for transferring defense articles, services, and training to international partners.

The Space and Missile Systems Center said Germany on Sept. 30 ordered an undisclosed quantity of Military Code (M-Code) capable military GPS user equipment.  A spokesperson for the Space and Missile Systems Center said Germany ordered the BAE Systems Miniature-PLGR-Engine-M-code (MPE-M) card. PLGR is short for precision lightweight GPS receiver.

The secretary of the Air Force and the office of the secretary of defense approved the sale of M-Code user equipment to 58 nations. Germany is expected to get delivery of the equipment in 2021.  

Additional foreign military sales of M-Code user equipment are in the works, SMC said. “We’re engaged with several nations in bilateral M-Code prototyping, demonstration, and lead platform planning efforts.” 

M-Code is an upgrade to GPS signals that provides enhanced secure positioning, navigation and timing, anti-jam and anti-spoofing. 

SMC said the sale of this equipment to allies helps to “improve interoperability with our defense partners’ equipment.”

M-Code receivers have been in development for nearly a decade under a $1.4 billion program called Military Global Positioning System User Equipment. GPS user equipment includes receivers, antennas and other electronics that are grouped together in sets to derive navigation and time information transmitted from GPS satellites.

Raytheon, L3Harris and BAE Systems (which acquired Rockwell Collins’ military GPS business) have been under contract since 2012 to produce M-Code receivers.

Currently 22 of the 31 GPS satellites in operation broadcast the M-Code signal.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...