GPS 3F satellite artist rendition. Credit: Lockheed Martin

WASHINGTON — Raytheon Technologies, L3Harris’ Interstate Electronics Corp. and BAE Systems collectively received $552.5 million in contracts to develop and produce integrated circuit cards for military GPS receivers.

The contracts announced Nov. 6 by the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center are for tiny circuit cards known as MGUE Inc 2 MSI ASIC — short for Military GPS Users Equipment Miniature Serial Interface Increment 2 Application Specific Integrated Circuit.

The new generation of military GPS circuit cards are low power and about the size of a silver dollar. They are compatible with the secure Military Code (M-Code) signal broadcast by the newer GPS satellites.

A GPS 3 satellite launched by SpaceX on Nov. 5 was the 23rd M-Code signal-enabled GPS space vehicle on orbit. This signal is harder to jam and spoof.

The three companies received five-year contracts to design, develop, build, integrate and qualify the receiver cards to enable production of M-Code-capable GPS products and user platforms that require secure positioning navigation and timing capability. The work has to be completed by September 2025.

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...