The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) announced it is developing a next-generation aircraft navigation technology at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
The technology, called R-EGI (Resilient Embedded Global positioning system/Inertial navigation system), will function as a backup when access to traditional GPS is unavailable. R-EGI supports AFLCMC’s initiatives to improve resiliency in aerial navigation systems.
Once completed, R-EGI can be integrated into fighter planes such as Boeing’s F-15 EX, General Dynamics’ F-16 Fighting Falcon, and Lockheed Martin’s MC-130J Commando II.
R-EGI will be assessed in a flight-testing phase scheduled for 2024.
Edge Over Adversaries
“Our mission is to make sure the United States military and those of our allies can navigate anywhere around the globe whenever they need to,” AFLCMC Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Office Materiel Leader Lt. Col. Robinson Hughes said.
R-EGI is expected to compensate when common navigation platforms relying on satellites are disrupted by adversaries or natural events, according to Hughes.
“Civil governments around the world are exploring solutions to introduce resilience into their infrastructures and minimize the impact of this situation. R-EGI is the solution for our military aviation fleet.”
“The system going forward will have an incredible amount of agility built into it where we can improve capability much more quickly than today.”
The project supports the US Department of Defense’s initiatives in developing alternative PNT capabilities to maintain “an edge over adversaries.”
“By branching out to other sources of PNT, like using other global navigation systems and non-traditional sources like celestial navigation, we increase the probability that our aircraft can navigate anywhere they really need to be,” Hughes added.