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By Julian Nettlefold, Editor BATTLESPACE

In August of this year DRS Technologies received a $250 million contract, including options, from the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) Charleston in South Carolina. In support of this single-award, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract DRS will provide a satellite-based internet-broadband service and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network to support deployed military personnel.

The network will connect military personnel deployed within the areas of responsibility of United States European Command, Central Command, Pacific Command, African Command, and other locations tasked by SPAWAR Europe.
The work will be accomplished by the company’s DRS Technical Services unit in Dulles, Virginia. The unit will complete all network engineering, systems integration, installation, testing, and ensure continuous connectivity. The initial contract award is for $50 million, and with all contract options exercised, the work will be complete by August 2012. DRS will be required to manage, engineer and support the U.S. military’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Network (MWRnet) in Iraq and Afghanistan using next-generation satellite and networking technologies.

MWRnet provides phone service, e-mail, Internet access and video chat capabilities between U.S. service members and their families and friends back home. Service members rely upon this vital network to stay in touch and maintain personal connections, complete educational pursuits, and access other Internet resources. Phone service to the U.S. for deployed military personnel will be an affordable and easily accessible method for military families to communicate and maintain personal connections.

“Satellite communications has not only become a mission essential for military tactical operations in the 21st Century, it has become a vital tool to help the morale of warfighters deployed overseas in combat zones for more than a year,” said Dr. Mitchell B. Rambler, president of DRS’ Technical Services Business Segment. “DRS takes great pride knowing that we will provide the network that can help families stay connected while loved ones execute dangerous and important missions for our country.”

DRS on its Stand No. 1101, held live demonstrations direct from Iraq hosted by John Batye, the company’s engineer on the ground. Bayte, previously with the U.S. Special Forces retired in 2003nto work for DRS. DRS employs over 500 people in Iraq providing services for electronic systems and circuits. There is a 35 man team dedicated to the support of these systems. DRS monitors the fibre circuits to spot any breaks and repairs them immediately in support of the Iraqi Army. The company also monitors all networks on a 24/7 basis to detect any possible intrusions or viruses.

The Technical Services Business Segment presented a video-teleconference link-up from the show to deployed personnel in Southwest Asia to demonstrate its expertise in providing Information Assurance to forward deployed areas. DRS capabilities provides “defense in depth” in communications networks for warfighters deployed in hostile environments. The segment is a leading provider of strategic forward-deployed communications, currently supporting Multi-National Force-Iraq, Multi-National Corp-Iraq, and the U.S. Army Sustainment Command. With its Modular Multi-Media Communications System (MMCS) it provides flexible, scaleable configuration solutions with voice, video and data support.

In addition to general communications to allow troops to speak directly and by video conferencing to their families in the US, DRS provides secure VIP teleconferencing to the Joint Chiefs in the Pentagon. DRS has 30-40 computers tied into a commercial ISP operating 24/

The Technical Services Business Segment is one of eight contractors on the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Command’

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