WASHINGTON — BAE Systems will provide the U.S. Army high-tech, embeddable computer cards used for secure navigation on foot and aboard armored vehicles in a contract worth $318 million.

The five-year contract for M-code GPS modules and related engineering support, announced Sept. 29, gives the service’s positioning, navigation and timing experts direct access to the company’s wares, according to the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, or PEO IEW&S.

The cards were previously procured through “various external contracts” and the Defense Logistics Agency, which ran up costs and complicated the buying process, the office said.

M-code is meant to be a stronger, more secure source of situational awareness — where a soldier is, where a soldier is headed and at what pace. It touts increased resistance to jamming and spoofing, a critical consideration for the U.S. as it prepares for potential fighting against Russia and China. Both wield significant electronic warfare arsenals that can make traversal and coordination more difficult.

Michael Trzeciak, a project manager at PEO IEW&S, said the BAE Systems arrangement “made sense” because of compatibility with existing equipment, namely Dismounted Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing Systems, DAPS, and Mounted Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing Systems, MAPS.

The Army in April tapped TRX Systems for the former. Collins Aerospace, part of RTX, was selected last year for the latter.

BAE Systems is the seventh largest defense contractor in the world when ranked by defense-related revenue. The company brought in $25.2 billion in 2022 and $25.7 billion in 2021, according to Defense News’ “Top 100″ analysis.

Colin Demarest was a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covered military networks, cyber and IT. Colin had 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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