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CLUSTER 1 STOPS FOR A BREATHER

17 Feb 05. CECOM announced during AUSA that, the JTRS Cluster 1 Program is continuing with its scheduled Early Operational Assessment (EOA). During the remainder of FY05, the JTRS Cluster 1 program will focus all efforts and resources on conducting this assessment, scheduled for April, continuing all critical path activities and development of waveforms for the JTRS Joint Program Office, to include the new Wideband Networking Waveform. The EOA will demonstrate a fully compliant JTRS/Software Communications Architecture, implementing over 20,000 requirements and delivering maximum portability, full network-centric information assurance and delivering major software application products to other JTRS Clusters. To date, seventeen single channel radios are completed and available to finish waveform development and integration. Multi-channel radios are now in final integration and will be completed for the EOA.

This assessment in April will provide evidence of the system’s capabilities and maturity in support of a Defense Acquisition Board review this summer that will determine the essential elements of post-EOA development and production. The JTRS Cluster 1 program has been a pathfinder for its sister clusters and will demonstrate the concept of software defined radios in military use. The Department of the Army is confident that the results of EOA will prove that the JTRS vision is a viable and effective transformation enabler. To assure that this vision is fully realized, further development of the product has been temporarily suspended, except for critical path activities, to provide for the collection of empirical results and requirements validation necessary to determine the appropriate product baseline going forward. The Defense Acquisition Board will meet in August to approve the block strategy for JTRS Cluster 1 that focuses further development on the essential function necessary to deliver a fully capable system to the warfighter.

* A Partial Stop Work Order has been issued to the Boeing-led JTRS Cluster 1 team

* The partial Stop Work Order is temporary and affects only further development activities for the JTRS Cluster 1 Engineering Development Models (EDM).

* Pre-EDM hardware integration and test is not affected and will continue through Early Operational Assessment.

* Development of the Wideband Networking Waveform that brings Internet-like service to the battlefield will continue to completion. All legacy waveform development efforts also are not affected by this partial Stop Work Order.

* After an Early Operational Assessment in April 2005, the Defense Acquisition Board will review the capabilities and maturity of JTRS Cluster 1 and focus further development on the essential functionality necessary to deliver a fully capable system to the warfighter.

After the flurry of excitement following this announcement with some doom merchants suggesting the demise of the whole JTRS Program, BATTLESPACE was briefed by Boeing.

Initial deployment of JTRS Cluster 1 radios are being rethought with the thrust being towards establishing the radio as the Wide band Data waveform bearer in the Stryker Fleet and Command Posts. One reason for this is the high cost per channel for this radio which, being software defined, has a high cost per channel. The average cost epr channel for existing radios such as SINCGARS is $4000 whilst the Cluster I cost per channel has risne to as much as $45000 per channel given the complexity of the radio and its enhanced capabilities.

Boeing told BATTLESPACE that the radio was in pre-EMD hardware development with further development required to overcome some problems that are believed to include heat. Fans have been installed on the ground versions, whilst the air versions, to save weight, have rubber pads installed between modules. The Early Operational Assessment (EOA) Program will report in April to demonstrate the ability of the system to handle the number of wa

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