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Russia ups Jamming Tempo – The US Responds By Julian Nettlefold

 

RAYTHEONSources at Eurosatory stated that the US has an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) for anti-GPS jamming equipment due to the Russians upping the tempo against Stryker Brigades on the Estonian Border where resources are being stretched and the U.S. Army is seeking recovery or a solution. What experts believe is that the Russians are targeting certain areas where U.S. Forces are based to isolate them from the battlefield.  Russia has long been a specialist in such technology. Raytheon UK is expected to be one of the bidders.

During Eurosatory David Richardson Business Development Executive Force Protection, Raytheon UK gave an in-depth brief about Raytheon’s capability in GPS Anti-Jamming (GAS-1) technology and an update on current US Requirements.

“Without GPS available the precise grid location is difficult to obtain and share via covert reconnaissance. In operational tempos it has a higher impact as strikes can be ineffective and targets disperse and regroup in new location; thus the threat continues. In addition there is the potential to hit the wrong target which impacts political support at home and local good will. It also makes the Blue Force vulnerable to attack and counter attack. Intermittent jamming also creates psychological impacts by causing loss of trust in blue force technology.” David Richardson said.

He underlined the importance of the GPS service and how it is relied upon and is assumed to be reliable in the digitised world. GPS is used to, synchronise systems and networks, provide navigational support to air, land, and sea assets, support weapon guidance systems and produce ‘location-aware’ applications.

“GPS denial is simple, cheap, and effective. The GPS signal strength at the surface of the Earth is extremely weak – comparable to viewing a 25 watt light bulb from a distance of 11,000 miles. The GPS signal can be easily jammed by a signal of the same or similar frequency but greater strength. The information to produce GPS jamming systems, and the equipment needed to do it are easily available on the internet or in specialist electrical stores; a range of Jammers from commodity items to defence specification systems can be purchased.” David Richardson said.

Raytheon has been a leader in electronic warfare since World War II, when it developed a magnetron, or radio wave generator, that became a key part of the Allies’ radar systems. In recent years it has pioneered the use of gallium nitride, a substance that produces five times more radio energy than previous technologies.

Raytheon Systems limited (RSL) is recognised as a leading centre of excellence for anti-jam GPS Antenna Systems. RSL’s analogue GPS Anti Jam system (GAS-1) has over 8,000 land, sea and air systems from F- 16 thru MCMV to C-17, supplied and in service on a wide range of platforms around the world, including many US DoD aircraft and large naval vessels. Current platforms include the UK’s Voyager, US F/A-18 and A400M.

In 2003 Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems was selected to develop the next-generation militarized GPS system with anti-jam and stealth capabilities for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The JSF Digital Anti-jam Receiver (DAR) will provide unprecedented accuracy supporting the precision strike mission capability of the multi-role, stealthy strike fighter aircraft. Raytheon was awarded an initial $25.8m subcontract for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) by Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, which is responsible for mission systems integration of the GPS sensor on the F-35 JSF team. The potential value of the work is $125m to provide DAR systems through SDD and production. In this effort, Raytheon will be developing a militarized GPS anti-jam sensor with a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) M Code receiver, digital anti-jam electronics and a multi-element low observable antenna.

Today the company is developing tactical lasers, the Next Generation Jammer and other weapons, along with electrical systems capable of powering whatever innovations the future holds.

“Raytheon UK is a world leader in the production and supply of GPS anti-jamming systems to the majority of the world’s military forces,” said David Richardson, “These contracts and milestones demonstrate that we continue to make advancements in new systems, ensuring that Raytheon’s systems continue to meet the latest platform requirements.”

Richardson gave an update on Raytheon’s long history in the development and supply of a number of GPS Ant-Jam systems starting with a Contract to develop STR2420 ACU for UK MOD in 1994 thru PAGAN in 2001 to MicroGAS in 2015.

In September 2013 Raytheon UK took its first order for a pre-production simultaneous MiniGAS, which was then the latest in GPS Anti-Jam technology, designed and manufactured by the company in the U.K. This contract, awarded by an undisclosed customer, requires Raytheon UK to produce demonstrator units for customer evaluation.

MicroGAS is the latest in Raytheon’s GPS anti-jam family of products, and it aims to be the lightest and smallest GPS anti-jamming system produced by Raytheon UK. It will have flexible form factors, suited to dismounted, land, unmanned aerial vehicles and missile platforms. Raytheon is also producing demonstration units of its simultaneous Landshield high performance digital anti-jam product for customer evaluation.

As well as developing new products, Raytheon has also received an order for a further 100 of its Advanced Digital Antenna Production (ADAP) systems with the U.S. government. To date, more than 800 ADAP systems and more than 8,000 GAS-1 systems have been delivered to the U.S. government and other international customers over the course of 15 years.

Raytheon continues to deliver GPS anti-jam systems to Northrop Grumman Italia to be used in the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, and the company has also delivered a significant number of systems for the Airbus Military A400M aircraft. The company also completed the delivery of its first order for its latest GPS Anti-Jam Land product to the UK Ministry of Defence within six months of contract award.

Land & Low SWaP Systems

Raytheon is now developing a family of Analogue and Digital systems for land use, which by dint of the user, the infantryman on the ground, are required to be smaller, lighter and more compact.

The new systems include:

Landshield – Digital L1 & L2 Simultaneous

Landshield is the world’s first small form factor, fully integrated antenna and digital antenna electronics anti-jam system for GPS. It is designed to be a straight replacement to an existing GPS FRPA antenna.  Landshield is lightweight, small, and low cost solution to GPS denial with high performance for challenging applications which include, Navigation, Sensors and Communications etc.

Landshield is ideal for Land Vehicles but also applicable to marine, avionics, UASs and weapon platforms, it includes anti-spoof and direction finding capabilities

Raytheon has developed Landshield using internal funding, is ITAR free and available as a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) from Raytheon

MiniGAS Analogue

MiniGAS Analogue is GAS on chip (using an RF ASIC), developed under UK MoD funding

The following MiniGAS variants have been developed:

– 4 element GPS L1 only (RCAS)

– 4 element GPS L1 with L2 pass-through

– 4 element GPS L1+ GPS L2 simultaneous operation

– 2 element GPS L1 with L2 pass-through

– ITAR Free but subject to UK export control where appropriate

RCAS

GPS Analogue L1 for Land vehicles

Raytheon was awarded a UOR contract to supply an L1 only analogue system for Land vehicles, RCAS, under a Competitive award. Delivery started February 2013 and was completed in three months and the system is now Qualified for land vehicle operations. RCAS was based on the MiniGAS 4 element architecture

RCAS uses a Conical Log Spiral (CLS) antenna for enhanced low elevation performance with an option to use a standard low profile patch antenna and has a GVA compliant mounting arrangement

MicroGAS L1 & L2 – Analogue Simultaneous

MicroGAS is a single LRU analogue solution that includes antenna and electronics – straight replacement to existing GPS antenna. It is a simultaneous L1/L2, 2 element system, lightweight, small, and low cost solution to GPS denial with high performance for challenging applications. Applications include: Navigation, Sensors, Communications, and Weapons. Initial MicroGAS configurations are ideal for handheld GPS receivers, weapons & UASs but also applicable to marine and avionics platforms. Raytheon has developed MicroGAS using internal funding, is ITAR free and available as a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) from Raytheon, which is the only company manufacturing analogue systems and also is the only Company with an operational anti-jam system. One of the benefits of the analogue system is that they are very good for protecting GPS timing applications. However, the digital systems give better performance but require more power, which in itself is a drawback for infantry systems.

US Army Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing Program (A-PNT)

The U.S. Army and SOCOM are taking the ability of countries to jam the GPS system very seriously. They faced a number of jamming attacks in Afghanistan and now attacks are occurring in Europe. To that end President Obama issued a National Security Presidential Directive -39 in 2013 stating that the provision of anti-GPS jamming equipment was in the top three of military priorities. Thus the US Army Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing Program (A-PNT) was initiated.

A-PNT requires cooperation with foreign defence organizations, to develop, test, and acquire navigation warfare capabilities to effectively utilize GPS in the event of adversary jamming or other interference.

Due to size, weight and cost, GPS anti-jam implementation has been limited to strategic Naval and Air assets; advances in miniaturisation of electronics now makes this capability available to Land units at an affordable implementation price.

The U.S. Army Acquisition Executive (AAE) has indicated that Assured PNT is a top priority, it issued the Army PNT System of Systems Strategy memo on 22 April 2013 which calls for, reduced PNT requirements, inefficiencies/redundancies, decreased Warfighter vulnerabilities and an affordable migration path to M-Code for all Army systems.

The US has started the Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT)

Program of Record (PoR). This program is split into 4 areas:

– Pseudolites

– Mounted PNT

– Dismounted PNT

– GPS Anti-Jam (AJ)

The Assured PNT PoR is a US ACAT II program (in excess of $650m)

A-PNT Requirement

The US has over 200 different Army systems that require PNT data. Accurate PNT is mission-critical in all environments. Especially in environments where adversaries are using anti-access and area-denial (A2AD) capabilities to deny our forces freedom of movement and action. To deliver data that can be trusted amid these challenges A-PNT has 2

components:

–Integrity: the right signal

–Assurance: a trusted connection to accurate PNT information

A-PNT is a US Army major priority and critical enabler for the US Army Operating Concept ‘Win in a Complex World.’ A-PNT program of record is in its early stages with the Army Science and Technology community transitioning solutions and requirements being developed.

Conclusion

Raytheon has a world lead in anti-GPS jamming equipment and as the situation in Ukraine and Europe’s borders develops there is little doubt that NATO and the UK in particular will follow the U.S. in implementing UORs for the provision of anti-GPS jamming equipment. In addition when more boots on the ground become apparent in Syria and Libya anti-GPS jamming equipment will be required in those areas. One of the key reasons for the Russian support of President Assad was its Naval facility on the coast at Tartus which provides vital intelligence to Russia and undertakes a variety of EW missions including we believe, jamming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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