China Loves the Navy’s GPS Landing System (and its Slide Decks)

A 2013 paper from China’s Naval University of Engineering includes a graphic used by the U.S. Navy in 2010.

I did a Google search for some background information on the precision GPS landing system the Navy used to help guide its unmanned X-47B to a carrier landing yesterday, and one of the first hits to pop up was a paper by three authors from China’s Naval University of Engineering, a “military university of higher learning subjected to the leadership of the Central Military Commission and the Party Committee of the PLA Navy.”

The paper, presented in May at the China Satellite Navigation Conference in Wuhan, China, goes into great detail about the U.S. Navy Joint Precision Approach and Landing System under development, a derivative of which was used to support the X-47B landing on the USS George H.W. Bush.

I wondered where China obtained so much information about a U.S. Navy program, until I stumbled across a 2010 Naval Air Systems Command presentation, which included many of the details used in the 2013 China Naval University of Engineering paper.

The paper included the same graphic used by the U.S. Navy in 2010 to illustrate how the precision guidance system works. (See page 191 in the China paper and page six in the NAVAIR slide deck.)

Too bad NAVAIR can’t copyright its slide decks.

Oh yeah, China plans to launch its own aircraft carrier in 2015, after testing three slightly used Russian carriers.