Embedded Avionics, Military

Northrop to Develop Open-Architecture Embedded GPS for USAF

By Nick Zazulia | February 27, 2019
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F-22 Raptor

An F-22 Raptor at 2010's Fort Worth Alliance Air Show. The F-22 is one of the lead platforms for the EGI-M. (Lockheed Martin)

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a $59 million contract to develop an embedded GPS system for the F-22 Raptor and other aircraft.

The embedded GPS/INS-modernization (EGI-M) program will be built on an open-system architecture to enable the rapid future integration of new capabilities. It will also incorporate receivers capable of securely and accurately transmitting M-code, or military GPS signals. It will also be compatible with the FAA's NextGen requirements, including the incoming 2020 ADS-B mandate, according to Northrop.

“This [engineering and manufacturing development (EMD)] award brings us an important step closer to fielding a modernized navigation system that provides accurate positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) information, even when GPS is denied,” said Dean Ebert, Northrop Grumman's vice president of navigation and positioning systems. “Northrop Grumman is dedicated to ensuring the safety and mission success of our warfighters by providing a resilient assured PNT solution that will allow service members to fly, fight and win in any environment."

E-2D Hawkeye (U.S. Navy)

E-2D Hawkeye (U.S. Navy)

The EMD contract is a follow-up to an October 2018 contract Northrop Grumman received from the Defense Department to begin work on the project; this one gives the company the go-ahead to begin proper development, tasking it with qualification, certification, manufacture of production units and testing.

The lead platforms for the EGI-M are the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye, but the company said it is developing the system to be broadly compatible and expects its inclusion on other platforms as well. Northrop is also building it to be exportable to foreign customers.

The contract covers a two-year period, according to a Northrop representative, with two one-year options following.

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