Limited ability of many military satellite communications terminals delays use of jam-proof global SATCOM

Jan. 8, 2020
Pentagon lacks coherent strategy for buying SATCOM terminals to access even the military's own communications satellites, government watchdog says.

WASHINGTON – The third GPS III satellite sporting the jam-proof, spoof-proof military signal called M-Code is due to be launched next month. Theresa Hitchens at Breaking Defense reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

8 Jan. 2020 -- Sadly, troops won’t be able to use that encrypted signal until at least 2021 -- if then, given the program’s history of delays -- because no military GPS III are fielded yet.

Even though satellite communications (SATCOM) are critical to future multi-domain operations, the Pentagon seems incapable of fixing longstanding problems with ground terminals and mobile receivers that stop users and weapons from communicating efficiently.

What’s the problem? Some satellite terminals link only to one frequency or one type of satellite; ships and Humvees use outdated terminals that would be too expensive to replace; and sometimes new satellites end up orbiting the Earth for years without any users because the terminals to make them useful weren’t built on time.

Related: Boeing to provide anti-jam upgrade for Wideband Global SATCOM satellite constellation

Related: GPS jamming is a growing threat to satellite navigation, positioning, and precision timing

Related: Air Force asks Boeing to build eleventh WGS military communication satellite for global C4ISR

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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