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Blog Editor’s Note: This article is a interesting follow-on to GAO’s report on “DoD Navigation Capabilities.”  The article is worth reading for additional information it brings to light.

The author also refers to a RAND report we have discussed before that found “The military’s huge dependence on PNT data makes GPS an attractive target for adversaries.”  – Yup!

One of the big findings of the GAO report was the point highlighted in the title of this article. Also disturbing was the GAO’s finding that within DOD, Alternate PNT efforts don’t have senior leader support, and senior leaders are not in the mood for a large investment in a new navigation infrastructure. Pretty clear that this issue is in the not-yet-important category for them.

Perhaps this effort could be helped along if DOD thought about purchasing PNT services from a commercial provider. These could be much less expensive and up and running much sooner than would be the case with a government major system acquisition.

Individual leaders who understand and care can make such a difference. Without the vision and passion of DR. Brad Parkinson and his patron DR. Malcom Currie, DOD’s Deputy Director of Research and Engineering, GPS would never seen the light of day. None of the services wanted it. To quote the Navy “we already know where we are!”

RNTF hosted another discussion with staff from GAO about  “DOD Navigation Capabilities.”At the ION Joint Navigation Conference last night. Here is a video of a similar on-line discussion we hosted with ION in June. If you are wondering what in the world DOD is thinking about wrt PNT, viewing the video and reading the report will provide a lot of answers. Though some of them are disturbing.

Bottom line (or maybe top line) – senior DOD leaders need to start caring about the PNT infrastructure that underpins so much of their technology. Else everything they have now and might build will increasingly be just a house of cards.



U.S. military doubles down on GPS despite vulnerabilities

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Space weapons meant to target U.S. satellites are a growing concern for the U.S. military. Especially worrisome are electronic jamming devices designed to interfere with GPS signals.

That threat is “real today and concerning,” the chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force Gen. John Raymond told the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee during a hearing in May.

Raymond pointed at China and Russia as the primary actors pursuing technologies aimed at “robust jamming of GPS and communications satellites.”