DoD is Modernizing GPS with Interagency Partners

    When the Federal Radionavigation Plan (FRP) was first published in 1980, the Global Positioning System – better known as GPS – was still being developed. At that time, federal officials expected GPS to replace many of the federal radionavigation systems that were then in use.

    Today, GPS is the primary federally provided positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) system in the United States. According to GPS World , GPS accounted for $56B in economic impact in 2013. Individuals and industries use GPS to better navigate their neighborhoods, grow crops, execute financial trades, and more.

    For the Department of Defense , GPS is important to lethality, modernization, and resilience. Of all the systems covered in the FRP, only GPS has a set of signals that is restricted for use by the U.S. military, U.S. federal agencies, and select allied partners.

    Earlier this fall, Secretary of Defense James Mattis; Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao; and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, signed the 2017 FRP. This authoritative plan provides the “official source of PNT policy and planning for the Federal Government,” and it is updated bienially as required by law.

    The 2017 FRP includes important updates, like GPS modernization to increase military effectiveness. This modernization effort includes adding a more robust, resilient, secure, and spectrally separate military M-Code signal, and upgrading satellite control capabilities to the GPS system.

    An interagency working group oversees changes to the plan. This group is facilitated by the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer , and includes representatives from across the Departments of Defense, Transportation, Homeland Security, and other civilian and DoD departments and agencies.

    “DoD is moving forward with making GPS more resilient to interference for both military and civilian users,” said Dr. Brian Teeple , DoD Deputy CIO for Command, Control, Computers and Communications and Information Infrastructure Capabilities.