Image: RNT Foundation

Blog Editor’s Note – A very interesting development reported by Breaking Defense. The “share with civilians” language is significant as DOD has said before (and documented in their strategy) that they don’t like the fact that civilians use GPS. It hampers them in warfare, so they are not going to share new systems they develop.

Perhaps the solution is for them to work with the Department of Transportation, the federal lead for civil PNT. We are guessing that if everyone works together for the good of the nation (read “forego petty bureaucratic bickering and budget fights) some really good solutions for both the military and civilians can be found. 

We have included language from the bill below after the excerpt from “Breaking Defense.”

 

NETWORKS / CYBERSPACE

SASC Wants Alternative GPS By 2023

“I think this shows that the committee is taking the jamming and spoofing threats to GPS seriously, and it is prompting DoD to focus its efforts on countering these threats,” Todd Harrison, director of the Defense Aerospace Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says.

WASHINGTON: With an eye on growing Russian and Chinese jamming capabilities, the SASC has ordered the Pentagon to provide Combatant Commander’s alternate position, navigation and timing (PNT) systems GPS within two years.

“I think this shows that the committee is taking the jamming and spoofing threats to GPS seriously, and it is prompting DoD to focus its efforts on countering these threats,” Todd Harrison, space expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said.

In Section 1601 of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), SASC says the two-year deadline is “consistent with” urgent needs voiced by commanders in the field. DoD must:

  • Prioritize and rank order the mission elements, platforms, and weapons systems most critical for the operational plans of the combatant commands;
  • Mature, test, and produce for such prioritized mission elements sufficient equipment—
    (A) to generate resilient and survivable alternative positioning, navigation, and timing signals; and
    (B) to process resilient survivable data provided by signals of opportunity and on-board sensor systems; and
  • Integrate and deploy such equipment into the prioritized operational systems, platforms, and weapons systems.

“We see this as a really good thing, and a really positive development for DoD and the nation,” Dana Goward, president of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, told Breaking D.  Pointing to China’s effort to develop a robust PNT system, he added that: “We in America, both the Department of Defense and the civilian side, have become so complacent that we have let essential capabilities wither and stagnate.”

READ MORE

Senate Version 2021 NDAA

SEC. 1601. RESILIENT AND SURVIVABLE POSITIONING, NAVIGATION, AND TIMING CAPABILITIES.

(a) IN GENERAL.— Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act, consistent with the timescale applicable to joint urgent operational needs statements, the Secretary of Defense shall—

(1) prioritize and rank order the mission elements, platforms, and weapons systems most critical for the operational plans of the combatant commands;

(2) mature, test, and produce for such prioritized mission elements sufficient equipment—

(A) to generate resilient and survivable alternative positioning, navigation, and timing signals; and

(B) to process resilient survivable data provided by signals of opportunity and on-board sensor systems; and

(3) integrate and deploy such equipment into the prioritized operational systems, platforms, and weapons systems.

(b) PLAN.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a plan to commence carrying out subsection (a) in fiscal year 2021.

(2) REPROGRAMMING AND BUDGET PROPOSALS.—The plan submitted under paragraph (1) may include any reprogramming or supplemental budget request the Secretary considers necessary to carry out subsection (a).

(c) COORDINATION.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall consult with the National Security Council, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Transportation, and the head of any other relevant Federal department or agency to enable civilian and commercial adoption of technologies and capabilities for resilient and survivable alternative positioning, navigation, and timing capabilities to complement the global positioning system.

Brad P

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