UK Seeking GPS Alternative for Military Navigation

The UK Ministry of Defence has launched an initiative exploring alternatives to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for military navigation.

The Alternative Navigation for Weapon Systems initiative seeks an upgrade on GNSS such as GPS and Galileo, which are susceptible to jamming and spoofing, the Defence and Security Accelerator stated.

Should Be Ready by 2025

The system should be developed and trialed within three years for civilian and military applications and should be at a Technology Readiness Level of 4 or above. 

Moreover, it should not be “solely reliant on GNSS” and should have the potential for further development “to meet military specifications.” 

The initiative also specifies that the system should have enough accuracy to monitor position during deployment to within 5 meters (16.4 feet).

US Initiatives

The US military is also seeking navigation technologies to overcome challenges posed by GPS-denied environments. 

According to Colorado-based technology firm Intermap — which the US Air Force has contracted to develop navigation solutions for GPS-denied environments — several countries are developing technologies to hamper GPS signals.

Additionally, the US Navy has been working on a GPS alternative using cosmic-ray muons rather than GPS signals to navigate hilly terrain and other physical constraints. Cosmic-ray muons — or elementary particles — can pass through any material.

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