Raytheon moves ahead to low-rate initial production phase of JPALS GPS landing system for aircraft carriers

May 24, 2019
Raytheon moves to low-rate initial production of Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) for Navy aircraft carriers in $234.6 million contract.

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – Aircraft carrier aviation experts at the Raytheon Co. will start low-rate production of a carrier landing system based on differential Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation technology under terms of a near-quarter-billion-dollar contract announced this week.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $234.6 million contract Wednesday to the Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems segment in Fullerton, Calif., for low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS).

JPALS is an all-weather, all-mission GPS-based landing system that provides landing guidance for fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters aboard aircraft carriers. It features anti-jam protection for operating in electronic warfare (EW) environments.

This contract includes three production and installation engineering development model unit upgrade kits, engineering change proposals, and data.

Related: Sensor processing for Ford-class aircraft carrier arresting gear landing system provided by PT

JPALS works with the GPS satellite navigation system to provide accurate, reliable, and high-integrity guidance for carrier-based fixed-wing aircraft. It is a differential GPS that will provide an adverse weather precision approach and landing capability.

Differential GPS uses network of fixed-base reference stations to broadcast the difference between the positions indicated by the GPS signals and known fixed positions. A digital correction signal is broadcast locally over short-range fixed-based transmitters.

Using differential GPS technology improves satellite navigation and positioning accuracy from about 15 meters using non-enhanced GPS to about 4 inches with differential GPS.

LRIP describes initial, small-quantity production to test JPALS thoroughly to gain a reasonable degree of confidence that it will meet Navy requirements before moving forward with mass production. Raytheon also will develop the assembly line models for mass production.

Related: Bowhead to build aviation data management systems for four Navy aircraft carriers

Navy officials say they plan for initial operating capability (IOC) for JPALS in 2024, and full-operational capability (FOC) as early as 2030. The first JPALS test landings were aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in late 2013. Raytheon won a $232.8 million Navy contract in 2008 for JPALS system development and demonstration.

On this contract Raytheon will do the work in Work will be performed in Fullerton, Calif.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Indianapolis, and should be finished by August 2023.

For more information contact Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems online at www.raytheon.com, or Naval Air Systems Command at www.navair.navy.mil.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!