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BAE SYSTEMS AND MARCONI SELECTED FOR FALCON ASSESSMENT PHASE

17 Jul 02. BAE SYSTEMS and Marconi have been chosen to enter the final stage of the competition for the Armed Forces new £430m secure communication system, which will be used by senior commanders to direct operations on the battlefields of the future. BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.4 ISSUE 18, May 2nd 2002, BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.4 ISSUE 24, June 13th 2002).

Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram today announced that BAE Systems, Christchurch and Marconi Mobile, Chelmsford have been chosen as preferred bidders for the Assessment phase of the first stage of the Falcon (Formation Communications System) programme.

Falcon will provide a secure communication system at the tactical level on the battlefield operating in conjunction with Bowman, Cormorant, Skynet V and other communications and information systems now being introduced or planned.

Mr Ingram said:

“Successful communications are the key to success on the battlefield, and to our ability to deliver our precision weapons rapidly and accurately – what we are calling networkcentric capability. Falcon’s role in drawing together and connecting systems like Skynet and Bowman will be play a key role in this.

“Falcon will be able to carry a greater amount of voice and data traffic more effectively than existing equipment. Unlike our current Ptarmigan system it can be taken off a vehicle and installed in any convenient building. It can also be moved quickly into an operational area using transport aircraft. It will also require less manpower to operate and support.”

Contracts worth some £8m in total will be awarded to both companies to further develop their proposed solutions. The final decision on which company will carry forward the programme is expected in 2004.

The BAE SYSTEMS response to the FALCON requirement capitalised upon its knowledge of the information infrastructure domain, unrivalled systems integration capabilities and the company’s world-class digitization expertise. It benefited from the knowledge and investment of its partner, CISCO, in IP technologies in the civil sector and BAE SYSTEMS, proven ability to transfer commercial solutions into the military theatre to supply the high data rates required within tomorrow’s digitized battlespace.

The submission also reflected the market’s retreat from other increasingly
obsolescent technologies utilised in stable civil networks, being unable to meet
the flexible, dynamic, resilient and robust needs of the military theatre.

The team’s approach was based on the use of open standards, extensive use of BAE
SYSTEMS’ highly regarded systems integration and CIS modelling expertise, and its experience in both systems and network management.

A key focus of the Assessment Phase will be interoperability with Allied nations, supported by the full management of risk and BAE SYSTEMS world-class systems integration skills.

Following a series of recent customer demonstrations, Paul Laity, Major Bids
Director, comments “The BAE SYSTEMS-led team is pleased to have been selected to
take its innovative concept for FALCON further. We are confident we shall put
forward an excellent final proposal for the world’s first (and most advanced)
IP-based area network system, which may become the international benchmark solution for the future.

Our open architecture will provide high levels of performance, allow future
cost-effective growth and enable us to provide new levels of service to the
end-user community. In parallel, British defence forces will benefit from
significant manpower reductions compared with current systems. Our proposed system will also offer considerable export prospects.

BAE SYSTEMS, partners also included Dytecna Limited, CHR Design and Flagship
Training Limited (a joint venture between BAE SYSTEMS, Vosper Thornycroft and
Johnson Controls).

The FALCON tactical trunk communications system will be procured in four tranches. The first will replace the current Ptarmi

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