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Release No: 064-95
February 13, 1995


The Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement to transition ARPA-developed GPS guidance technology into military aircraft.

The agreement governs the continued development of the Global Positioning System Guidance Package (GGP), plans for its insertion into Naval aircraft for testing and then eventual production.

GGP is a high-precision, low-cost guidance, navigation and control system that will support a wide range of DoD platforms and applications, including high-performance aircraft and stand-off weapons. In GGP phase one, ARPA has developed and is now testing a small, lightweight (20 pound) unit consisting of a miniature GPS receiver, a navigation-grade miniature inertial measurement unit, and a navigation microcomputer. The objective of GGP phase two will be to develop a smaller production unit (seven pounds) while improving the performance and meeting more stringent environmental requirements. The system can be retrofitted into existing aircraft, gaining increased capability without additional space and weight requirements. Future aircraft will be able to integrate the GGP's functions efficiently into their overall flight control system. In addition, the projected size, weight, performance characteristics, and low unit cost of the production GGP opens up the possibility of using this technology to increase the capabilities of smart weapons.

In signing the agreement, Director of ARPA Gary L. Denman, noted, "This is a prime example of how ARPA technology can directly improve the capabilities of our military systems. The GGP is an ARPA success story -- I hope it will be a Navy success story as well. We look forward to a productive relationship with NAVAIR as we transition the GGP to our military warfighters." The Commander of NAVAIR, Vice Admiral William C. Bowes, stated that NAVAIR is aggressively pursuing opportunities to work with ARPA on this and other emerging technologies for Naval aviation applications.

Under the agreement, ARPA will demonstrate the compact, affordable packaging of components into a form compatible with a large range of unmanned and manned platforms. The GGP phase two program will be jointly funded, with ARPA providing overall management responsibility and the Navy assisting. NAVAIR will assure that GGP is compatible with a variety of Naval aircraft and weapons, and will test advanced units on Naval aircraft, and will then transition GGP phase two into production as the next-generation, embedded GPS/inertial navigation.

"The GGP is a core system in our future strategy for navigation and precision strike," maintains Navy's Air Combat Electronics Program Manager, Captain Frederick G. Schobert, USN.

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