Blog Editor’s Note: The last two administrations (G.W. Bush and Obama) promised Congress they would build eLoran systems to serve as a complement and backup for GPS.
Despite these promises being based upon deliberate and careful study, internal bureaucratic wrangling prevented anything from being done.
Dependence on GPS has continued to grow with DHS calling it “a single point of failure for critical infrastructure.” Our national and economic security are increasingly threatened by states and individuals with the ability to jam and spoof signals. Administration inaction has caused Congress to become increasingly worried and involved. Over the last four years numerous hearings have been held, formal questions asked, and several pieces of legislation have been introduced.
This $10M funding matches the mandate for a tech demo in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act signed by the President in December.
Measures in Congress requiring the Secretary of Transportation to act on her obligation under NSPD-39 to ensure a GPS backup capability have been passed by the House and are being worked in the Senate.
We hope the current administration recognizes the importance of this issue and can act to protect the nation before it has a congressional mandate.
The final measure adds $10 million to GPS III development for “GPS backup technology demonstration”. The increase is offset by a $10 million cut labeled “Excess to need”.
The increase is consistent with an amendment adopted in the House (H.Amdt. 258) that, among other things, “Provides $10 million for the purposes of carrying out a GPS backup technology demonstration.” VIEW SOURCE AT HOUSE.GOV
The original House bill proposed a $20 million reduction to GPS III, citing “Excess to need”. See table for source.
The draft Senate version proposed a funding cut for GPS III, stating “Improving funds management: Prior Year carryover” and “Reduce duplication: M-code”. See table for source.
The final measure adds $98.5 million to MGUE, noting, “Program increase – military GPS user equipment – Increment 2 – handhelds.” The increase is offset by a $10 million cut labeled “Excess to need.”
The draft Senate version proposed similar adjustments to MGUE. See table for source.
The House bill included the same “Excess to need” reduction. See table for source.