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What’s New: An article discussing the relative PNT capabilities of China and the U.S.

Why It’s Important: China’s far greater ability to withstand disruption of PNT from space gives it huge strategic and tactical advantages over the U.S.

  • Strategic
    • In any natural or malicious disruption that impacted the globe, China would fare far better than the U.S.
    • China could disrupt or threaten to disrupt GPS reception in the U.S. as a way of influencing our policies and actions. U.S. threats or actions to disrupt space-based PNT in China would have far less impact.
  • Tactical
    • Chinese naval forces have access to eLoran in the Taiwan Strait and far to the east. They are better able to maneuver than U.S. forces when GNSS is denied in that area.
    • The Chinese homeland and economy is less vulnerable to malicious disruption of space-based PNT

What Else to Know: 

  • In 2008 the U.S. National PNT Architecture was approved.
  • Chinese speakers have used the PNT Architecture graphic as their own explaining what they have done to ensure China always has essential PNT services.


As Threats in Space Mount, U.S. Lags in Protecting Key Services

GPS has become essential for modern life, but its satellites and signals are vulnerable to attack. China is years ahead in developing alternatives.

The United States and China are locked in a new race, in space and on Earth, over a fundamental resource: time itself.

And the United States is losing.

Global positioning satellites serve as clocks in the sky, and their signals have become fundamental to the global economy — as essential for telecommunications, 911 services and financial exchanges as they are for drivers and lost pedestrians.

But those services are increasingly vulnerable as space is rapidly militarized and satellite signals are attacked on Earth.

Yet, unlike China, the United States does not have a Plan B for civilians should those signals get knocked out in space or on land.