Air Force and Honeywell make transition to full-scale development for GPS modernization in military aircraft

April 22, 2020
The EGI-M GPS modernization program seeks to enable military aircraft to operate accurately in GPS-denied environments.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – U.S. Air Force satellite navigation experts are moving to full-scale development of a system that blends the Global Position System (GPS) navigation and guidance system with inertial navigation system (INS) technology.

Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., announced a $99.1 million contract to the Honeywell Inc. Aerospace segment in Clearwater, Fla., on Monday for engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) of the Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System Modernization (EGI-M) system.

Based on a modular open-systems architecture, the EGI-M system supports the rapid insertion of new capabilities into military aircraft like the F-22 jet fighter and E-2D carrier-based radar aircraft to operate in GPS-denied environments.

EMD describes where a system is developed and designed before going into production after the formal start of any program. The goal is to complete system development, develop affordable manufacturing processes, and test the system before proceeding to production and deployment.

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EGI-M technology is designed for compatibility with legacy aircraft, and adds Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen air traffic control requirements.

ADS-B Out transmits information about an aircraft’s altitude, speed, and location to ground stations and to other equipped aircraft in the vicinity.

The EGI-M is an upgraded version of the Embedded Global Positioning System Inertial Navigation System (EGI) from Honeywell and the Northrop Grumman Corp. Mission Systems segment in Woodland Hills, Calif., which combines GPS and inertial technologies for use in GPS-denied environments.

The EGI, manufactured by Honeywell and Northrop Grumman, is a navigation system that combines a GPS receiver card with an INS in one 20-pound unit that measures 7 by 11 by 12 inches.

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The navigation systems are for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft as upgrades to existing systems or as replacements for older and less capable systems.

The EGI is an Army/Navy/Air Force program that developed a small, reliable, lightweight navigation and guidance unit that contains precise position service GPS on one standard electronic module, plus a ring laser gyro inertial navigation system.

EGI provides three navigation solutions: GPS only, inertial navigation only, or a blended GPS/INS navigation solution. The EGI system has been in production since the late 1990s.

On this contract Honeywell will do the work in Clearwater, Fla., and should be finished by April 2024. For more information contact Honeywell Aerospace online at, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems at, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center-Robins at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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