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Hand-held navigation tool for US Army deemed effective against jamming

The latest edition of hand-held equipment U.S. Army soldiers can use to navigate and sync maneuvers performed well in the presence of simulated enemy electronic warfare attack, according to the Pentagon’s independent weapons tester.

The second-generation Dismounted Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing System, or DAPS GEN II, is more effective than the legacy Defense Advanced GPS Receiver, or DAGR, amid jamming and spoofing, the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation said in a report published last month.

The Army in April tapped TRX Systems to produce DAPS GEN II in a deal worth as much as $402 million. An initial order — more than 700 units and related services — was valued at $14.6 million. The gear succeeds two previous versions quickly made and provided to troops: GEN I and GEN 1.2. Hundreds of each had been distributed by the end of fiscal 2023.

DAPS GEN II, with its rechargeable battery and reworked screen, is designed to ensure troops understand where they are and where they are headed, even in situations where signal is impeded by terrain or rubble or when digital systems are under siege.

Such resilience is needed, defense officials say, as the U.S. prepares for potential fights against tech-savvy adversaries capable of waging effective electronic warfare.

During testing, DAPS GEN II improved soldier situational awareness, supported successful navigation and allowed soldiers to be “operationally effective,” according to the annual audit. Soldiers, though, requested additional options for training.

A spokesperson for TRX, based in Maryland, declined to comment on the report. The company is a subsidiary of ACR Group.

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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