MAPS: The Advanced New Tech the US Army Is Deploying to Fight Without GPS

The US Army has a contingency plan if an attacking enemy force jams its GPS systems. Meet the 'Mounted Assured Position Navigation and Timing System' or MAPS.
M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles

Today, electronic weapons can disable drones, missiles, or military communications with reasonable ease…

That’s why the US Army is looking for more reliable alternatives to GPS – and the Mounted Assured Positioning Navigation Timing Systems (MAPS) is a perfect substitute to leave GPS systems behind and prevent any foreign power from disrupting military communications.

What is this new technology?

Army Equips MAPS GEN I
Army Equips MAPS GEN I by John Higgins. Public Domain.

The MAPS is a type of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) that provides positioning, navigation, and timing information to military users.


The system consists of satellites, ground infrastructure, and control facilities that provide global coverage for communications – and it is more secure than keeping communications depending on GPS signals with antennas that can be jammed with modern electronic weapons.

The system is designed to continue working even if one or more satellites fail. It makes it very reliable. Additionally, the MAPS are encrypted. They offer better accuracy, more security… and best of all, MAPS devices are small enough to be placed in larger US Army vehicles.

Are American military GPS systems vulnerable to jamming attacks?

Using a GPS receiver
Using a GPS receiver by Erik Gudmundson. Public Domain.

Although GPS systems are ubiquitous, they can be easily jammed by electronic interference with today’s tech. Electronic warfare devices can be used to disable GPS-guided missiles or as a tool to prevent tracking devices from working. This would leave many of the US military’s current systems vulnerable.


Fortunately, the US Army has only faced low-technology insurgent groups in the last few decades. But, in combat against a conventional military force with state-of-the-art technologies, American casualties at war would be higher, and the efficiency of American weapons won’t be the same.

For this reason, it’s crucial to update the US Army communications systems. While GPS jamming is not currently a significant concern, it has the potential to become a severe problem in the future.

R-330Zh Zhitel jammer
R-330Zh Zhitel jammer by Denis Abramov. Licensed under CC by 4.0

Direct military rivals of the United States, such as Russia and China, already have enough weapons to shoot down GPS communication, which translates into a huge risk for the US Army’s primary combat vehicles.


JBLM soldiers test new augmented reality tech integrated
JBLM soldiers test new augmented reality tech integrated by Chandler Coats. Public Domain.

As a result, the US Army is replacing GPS systems with MAPS, especially in vehicles that frequently engage in combat. Initially, such as the Stryker combat vehicle, Abrams tank, Humvee, Bradley fighting vehicle, and Paladin Howitzer.

At a later stage, other weapons will likely adopt MAPS technology. It would also be of significant value to other branches of the US military, such as the Navy and USAF, which have many GPS-based combat systems and are currently vulnerable to the latest electronic warfare technologies.

The Army now has a backup plan before an attack on the US GPS systems

With electronic weapons on the rise, it’s time for the Army to have a backup plan for the future and start adopting a more reliable system than GPS.


MAPS delivers more security and cancels out the power of today’s electronic weapons. And even if one satellite is shot down, it won’t affect the US Army communications. This is a huge step forward for US Army technology.

Featured image credit: M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles in Northeast Syria by Jensen Guillory. Public Domain.