Coast Guard intends to terminate Loran-C next month

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(File photo from 1992) Loran Station Dana, Indiana. The unit's mission is to transmit LORAN-C navigation signals into the Northeast United States and Great Lakes chain.
(File photo from 1992) Loran Station Dana, Indiana. The unit's mission is to transmit Loran-C navigation signals into the Northeast United States and Great Lakes chain.
(File photo from 2000) Electronics Technician 1st Class (ET1) Damon Raley performs a routine system check at Loran Station Kodiak. (USCG photo by PA1 Keith Alholm)
(File photo from 2000) Electronics Technician 1st Class (ET1) Damon Raley performs a routine system check at Loran Station Kodiak. (USCG photo by PA1 Keith Alholm)

At 2000 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) – or 3pm east coast time – on February 8, the U.S. Coast Guard will cease transmission of the United States Loran-C signal and will commence a phased decommissioning of the infrastructure that has supported the system for the past 52-years.

Loran, meaning Long Range Navigation, was originally developed to provide radionavigation service for U.S. coastal waters & was later expanded to include complete coverage of the continental U.S. as well as most of Alaska. Twenty-four U.S. Loran-C stations work in partnership with Canadian and Russian stations to provide coverage in Canadian waters and in the Bering Sea.

But, as a result of technological advancements in the last 20 years – specifically the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS), Loran has become an antiquated system that is no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation’s security interests and is used only by a small percentage of the population. Those legacy users are being encouraged to make the switch to GPS in preparation for the transmission termination on February 8.

Click here for more on the decision to terminate Loran-C and stay tuned to the Compass for this week’s Guardian of the Week post honoring the men and women of Loran.

LORAN-GPS
A side-by-side comparison of the features of LORAN-C and GPS

2 comments on “Coast Guard intends to terminate Loran-C next month”

  1. GPS has been a great advancement for both civilian and military alike. But you have to give it to the Loran signal, which has provided location information since the 1960s! I had no idea that the Russians were now part of the infrastructure that made up these signlas.

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