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11 Dec 03. Wil Regiet, Boeing’s Manager of Integrated Battlespace capability gave BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold a glimpse of the future during the Dubai Air Show where the company’s Virtual Integrated Presentation was on show.
Boeing’s vision of the Integrated Battlespace has become the basis for a number of transformational programs within the Department of Defense, including the Future Combat Systems program, the Joint Tactical Radio System, and the Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T).

Network-centric operations is an environment where collaboration between platforms, systems, and devices, such as satellites, aircraft, or PDAs, is possible. For an element to become a network-centric node on a network, it needs to use a common information and communication architecture. Once an element becomes a node, it has the ability to function and collaborate with other nodes both inside and outside its resident domain. As more nodes are introduced into the environment, the network becomes more robust, much like the growth and expansion of the Internet. And like the Internet, network centric nodes depend on each other to provide multiple streams of connectivity for the movement of information from point to point. “Boeing’s aim is to introduce this common operting standard, a ‘Boeing within’ concept and supply the details of this system to our JTRS and FCS sub-contractors. We would also work on upgrading any legacy systems to ensure some form of interoperability”, Regiet said, “The aim of JTRS is to become the bearer of the netwok centric battlefield, creating the communications between nodes. A node can be an aircraft, a satellite, a tank or even an infantryman.”

The network instantly enables the movement of critical information between all sensors and effectors, such as fighter aircraft, ground vehicles, ships, satellites, reconnaissance platforms, and even the soldier on the ground, to create an unprecedented situational awareness of the battlespace.
The network of sensors, effectors, and databases processes vast amounts of data. Whether we are moving troops, acquiring targeting information, or studying the entire battlespace picture, data from satellites, maps, signals, intelligence, and various kinds of imagery form the necessary framework to carry out missions more effectively and accurately. The network, in essence, becomes the eyes and ears over the battlespace.

“One of the several benefits to a network-centric environment is the increase in situational awareness whether we are operating under battle conditions, protecting our homeland, or managing an enterprise. The interoperability between networks and nodes allows decision makers to make better, more informed decisions quicker and more accurately.” The Editor posed the question with regard to the possibility of the U.K. adopting the whole FCS solution if it required total interoperability? “Again, as long as the U.K. procures systems with the potential to apply the Boeing’s architecture and the FCS technology then there will be no problem with interoperability,” he continued

Wars of the future will not be won by the military force with the largest number of weapon systems or troops, but by the exchange and integration of vast amounts of information. Military forces will be able to fight as a net-enabled entity, enabling the network to become the warfighter’s weapon of choice, providing the warfighter with strategic information on target positions, movement of enemy troops, terrain, and weather. Soldiers and commanders, never losing contact with each other, are able to carry the power of technology into combat for mission success.

The simulation shown to the Editor was impressive in its power and adaptability. Red and Blue nodes showed situational awareness of hostile and friendly forces and interrogation of Red Forces gave details of the type of hostile

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