The U.S. Air Force announced this week its Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) at Robins AFB in Georgia is developing “the next generation aircraft navigation system.” In response to concern over GPS jamming by adversaries, the USAF initiated study on the Resilient Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System program—shortened to “R-EGI” in military-speak.
Lt. Col. Robinson Hughes, AFLCMC material leader of the Position, Navigation, Timing [PNT] Office said, “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. We all are reliant on U.S. GPS, and adversaries are developing capabilities with the potential to disrupt our way of life. Plus, there are natural events that can disrupt satellites. What happens if we don’t have access to GPS?”
“By branching out to other sources of PNT,” Hughes added, “like using other global navigation systems and nontraditional sources like celestial navigation, we increase the probability that our aircraft can navigate anywhere they really need to be.” According to an Air Force statement, the R-EGI Navigation System prototype is currently under development and is expected to begin flight-testing in 2024.