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USAF Reserve and Air National Guard F-16s to be upgraded with anti-jam GPS

The US Air Force awarded Rockwell Collins a contract to upgrade US Air National Guard and US Air Force Reserve F-16 aircraft with anti-jam GPS receivers.

The digital GPS anti-jam receivers are intended to provide reliable navigation for Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft operating in contested electromagnetic environments. This will be the first combat fighter aircraft to be installed with the latest version of the receiver, Rockwell Collins says.

The manufacturer says integrating the anti-jam GPS requires no changes to existing operational flight programs or A-kit aircraft wiring, a feature it touts as lowering the risk and cost involved to upgrade. The digital GPS anti-jam receiver is built on an open systems architecture that is designed for use across aircraft platforms including rotary wing, fixed-wing fighter, bomber, transport aircraft and small to large unmanned air vehicles.

GPS is the backbone of USAF aircraft navigation and precision weapons targeting. The service is increasingly concerned about GPS jamming and spoofing by its adversaries, especially Russia, China and Iran, who have shown the ability to throw off aircraft navigation by sending receivers false coordinates.

On 11 November, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila said that GPS signals in his country were disrupted after the Finnish military took part in operation Trident Juncture, NATO’s biggest military exercise since the Cold War, and insinuated that nearby Russia was responsible.

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