The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) is developing a next-generation aircraft navigation system at Robins Air Force Base (AFB) in Georgia, US. 

Known as a resilient-embedded global positioning system/inertial (R-EGI) navigation system, the solution is being designed to enhance the resiliency of aircraft navigation systems.

The prototype of the R-EGI navigation system is currently under development. It is expected to enter the flight-testing phase by 2024.

AFLCMC Precision, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Office materiel leader lieutenant colonel Robinson Hughes said: “Our mission is to make sure the US military and those of our allies can navigate anywhere around the globe whenever they need to.

“We all are reliant on US GPS, and adversaries are developing capabilities with the potential to disrupt our way of life. 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.”

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Developing alternative PNT capabilities as backup options to counter present threats, when GPS is unavailable, is part of the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) efforts to have a competitive edge over enemies.

Hughes added: “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.”

The prototype can be equipped aboard combat aircraft, including the F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-15EX fighter jet and MC-130J Commando II tanker aircraft.