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Headlines: FY 2018 NDAA Bills Support GPS Program Above Request; GPS-Related Provisions in the House NDAA
GPS Bulletin

Information for Policymakers from the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT)

July 12, 2017

FY 2018 NDAA Bills Support GPS Program Above Request 

In late June, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees each passed a version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA). The bills provide policy and funding guidance for the GPS program, but do not expend funds from the U.S. Treasury. Both bills now await floor consideration.

Program Element President's Request House
NDAA
Senate
NDAA
Procurement: GPS III Satellites $85.894M $85.894M $85.894M
Development: GPS III Satellites, Search & Rescue Payload, and M-Code Hosted Payload $243.435M $243.435M $283.735M
Development: Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) and GPS Enterprise Integrator $510.938M $510.938M $510.938M
Development: Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) $253.939M $263.939M $352.439
TOTAL $1.094206B $1.104206B $1.233006B

GPS-Related Provisions in the House NDAA

The House version of the NDAA (H.R. 2810) includes the following policy guidance regarding GPS.

GPS III Program

  • The House report on H.R. 2810 states, "The committee supports the GPS III program, and recommends the Air Force leverage the existing nonrecurring investment and technical risk reduction when developing an acquisition plan for future space vehicles. The committee continues to support evolutionary acquisition for space vehicles with technology insertion plans to meet warfighter requirements."

Demonstration of Backup and Complementary PNT

  • Section 1617 of the House bill would require, during FY 2018, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Homeland Security to jointly develop a plan for carrying out a backup GPS capability demonstration for the Global Positioning System. The Secretaries would be required to provide a briefing on this plan to the appropriate congressional committees within 120 days of the enactment of the Act. This section further states that, subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretaries would be required to jointly initiate the backup GPS capability demonstration and that the demonstration would terminate 18 months after the enactment of the Act. At this date of termination, the Secretaries would be required to submit a report on the demonstration. This section would authorize for this demonstration, for FY 2018, $10.0 million as specified in the funding tables.

Enhancement of PNT Capacity

  • Section 1618 of the House bill would require the Secretary of Defense to develop and implement a plan to increase resilience for the positioning, navigation, and timing capacity for the Department of Defense. This section would require the plan to ensure that military GPS user equipment (MGUE) terminals have the capability to receive the signals from the Galileo satellites of the European Union and the QZSS satellites of Japan, beginning with increment 2 of the acquisition of such terminals. This plan would also include an assessment of the feasibility, benefits, and risks of military GPS MGUE terminals having the capability to receive foreign PNT signals, beginning with increment 2 of the acquisition of such terminals. Such plan would also include an assessment of options to use hosted payloads to provide redundancy for the GPS signal; ensure that the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, engages with relevant U.S. allies to enable MGUE terminals to receive allied signals and negotiates other potential agreements relating to PNT enhancement; and include any other options the Secretary of Defense determines appropriate. Finally, this section would require the Secretary of Defense to submit the plan along with certain evaluations to specified congressional committees not later than 180 days after the enactment of the Act.

Cooperation with Japan

  • The House report "encourages further outer space cooperation between the United States and Japan" and directs a report "by December 1, 2017, on the status of cooperation between the United States and the Government of Japan regarding outer space activities, including with respect to space-based position, navigation, and timing." The report specifically mentions GPS and Japan's Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS).

Homeland Defense

  • The House report directs a briefing "by December 15, 2017, on the risks associated with disruptions to the Global Positioning System (GPS) that could affect defense of the homeland and other defense activities in the United States. The briefing shall include the requirements for PNT reliability and redundancy for Department of Defense operations in the United States, an analysis of the extent to which defense of the homeland operations rely on accurate PNT signals from GPS, and an assessment of alternative sources of PNT that could be used as a backup to ensure continuity of operations in the event of a major disruption to GPS."

Get the Full Details at GPS.gov

View all the original sources of the above information at GPS.gov, along with bill status and other information:

www.gps.gov/congress

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This newsletter is produced and distributed by the National Coordination Office for Space-Based PNT, a central resource within the government for GPS policy information. The National Coordination Office highlights legislation for information only and does not endorse any pending legislation except where explicitly noted. For more information, visit www.gps.gov/congress.
You are receiving this newsletter because of your interest / involvement in legislative affairs that are pertinent to the Global Positioning System (GPS), which affects national defense, transportation, science & technology, energy & environment, commerce, communications, privacy, and many other aspects of society.

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