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BOEING TEAM SELECTED FOR JTRS

25 Jun 02. In an announcement delayed from yesterday, the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) announced that the Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Cluster 1 team consisting of Boeing, Rockwell Collins, BAE SYSTEMS, Harris and TRW has been selected to provide the Cluster One requirement for JTRS. JTRS is the first truly software-defined radio communications system for the Department of Defense. If fully executed, the baseline plus options could potentially total more than $2bn.

The JTRS Joint Program Office has developed the architecture definition, design and validation of prototypes and independent industry validation. The software will be housed in the JTRS JPO reuse Library which will be available for all contractors bidding the other three clusters. The total requirement is for 260,000 radios.

The Cluster One segment includes the development and supply of 107,000 vehicular radios; Cluster Two the hand-held and manpacks; Cluster Three Maritime and Fixed facilities; Cluster Four Air Force and Naval Airborne.

Boeing, as prime system integrator, formed a strong, cooperative partnership with industry experts in radio development and manufacturing, as well as in airborne, space and ground platform integration to bring an innovative, best-value systems solution to the warfighter. Principal team members include TRW Tactical Systems Division of Carson, Calif.; Rockwell Collins of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and BAE SYSTEMS CNI Division of Wayne, N.J. (a division of the BAE SYSTEMS North America Group), who is partnered with Harris Corporation of Rochester, N.Y.

Both Harris and BAE SYSTEMS recently announced two JTRS compliant systems.

On June 13th, BAE SYSTEMS completed a first-ever live demonstration of a Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) network.

The demonstration was presented to members of the U.S. Army-led JTRS project
team and the JTRS Joint Program Office (JPO).

This represents the first successful networking using a Carrier Sense Multiple
Access (CSMA) waveform in a JTRS Software Communication Architecture
environment. CSMA describes how a networking protocol regulates communication
among nodes. Within BAE SYSTEMS’ System Integration Laboratory, five networked
engineering development models demonstrated:

frequency hopping (a form of wireless communications in which the frequency of the transmitted signal is deliberately varied)
link adaptation (varying transmit power levels, forward error correction rate, and message transmission burst rate automatically as conditions change)
network self-healing (the ability of nodes or users to join or drop from the network without affecting the integrity of the network)

On June 11th, Harris announced that it will offer a software-defined handheld radio in compliance with the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program. Demonstration units of the radio will be available mid-2003.

“The new Harris JTRS-compliant handheld radio will be available for the critical Cluster 2 assessment phase, ” said Andy Adams, director of product management,
Harris RF Communications Division. The Cluster 2 phase of the JTRS procurement involves the acquisition of manpack and heldheld units.

“Harris is aligning the development approach of our JTRS-compliant handheld with the DoD’s evolutionary acquisition strategy,” continued Adams. “Alignment is key
to developing a handheld radio that is in sync with the evolving technology requirements of the warfighter.”

This announcement is a blow to the Raytheon-led Team Futara, the other bidder which some observers suggested was a dream team of Raytheon, ITT, General Dynamics, Thales, TRW, SAIC and ViaSat (See BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.4 ISSUE 25, June 23rd 2002)

“The need for fast, reliable exchange of situational awareness and command and control information is vitally important to ensure the mission success and safety of America’s Armed Forces as they protect an

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