Honeywell has teamed with Boeing and Sierra Nevada to compete for the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) programme. The GPS-based system is planned to become the US Department of Defense’s standard land-based and shipborne landing aid. An Arinc/Raytheon team will also compete.

© Lockheed Martin

The new system will support JSF carrier operations

A delayed request for proposals (RFP) for system development and demonstration (SDD) of the JPALS is expected late this year or early in 2007. Under SDD, the winning team will develop land-based differential GPS and shipboard relative GPS landing systems – initially with performance equivalent to the civil Category 1 local-area augmentation system, but with anti-jam capability and low probability of intercept datalink.

An RFP had been set for release during February, but was delayed to allow further risk-reduction work in key areas, including jamming of the low-power GPS signal. That work is being conducted under a technology development contract awarded to Arinc, although the Honeywell team anticipates a US Navy contract for risk-mitigation activity following a request for information in December.

SDD will include production of land- and ship-based ground stations, with the navy to equip two aircraft carriers and two helicopter carriers for at-sea testing. Fixed and mobile land-based ground stations will also be produced. Lead platforms for JPALS avionics include the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System, which needs the capability to perform autonomous carrier landings.

The USN is driving JPALS development, and requires an extremely accurate carrier landing system. To achieve this, the system augments the differential GPS error corrections uplinked to the approaching aircraft with data from the ship’s inertial navigation system to compensate for deck motion.


Source: Flight International