EXELIS – SCANNING THE BATTLEFIELD
By Julian Nettlefold
BATTLESPACE met up with Nick Bobay, the new President of Exelis Night Vision & Communications Solutions (NVCS) at AUSA.
“How has the merger of the radio and night vision businesses changed the way Exelis does business?” The Editor asked.
“The merger of the two businesses strengthens our position with customers who often require both of our core offerings. We have also been able to examine the needs of our customers in a more holistic fashion and have seen immediate benefits from this new approach. One early success for our customers has been the development of the Individual Soldier System that integrates our i-Aware Tactical Mobile Night Vision Goggle with the SpearNet radio system and the JAGWire system. The high bandwidth of the SpearNet radio allows for imagery from the goggle to be delivered back to command elements while imagery can be fed to the night vision user in the field providing both with greater situational awareness. The integration of the two businesses by our entire NVCS team has gone very well. Exelis NVCS employs more than1400 people at key sites in Roanoake, Virginia; Fort Wayne Indiana; Basingstoke, and Brighton, United Kingdom, as well as several other smaller site locations. To date there has been no need to designate an official Headquarters location with our leadership team working in several locations.” Nick Bobay said.
“Let’s walk you through the Booth to show our technologies.” Tim White, Exelis NVCS’ Head of Communications said.
The technologies from the Exelis exhibit at AUSA event included:
• Networked communication systems, including SideHat, Rifleman and SpearNet radios, as well as Global Network On-The-Move Active Distribution (GNOMAD), an on-the-move satellite communications system that employs a low-profile antenna to provide reliable connectivity for a wide range of vehicles, from standard SUVs to large armoured vehicles in the Abrams, Bradley and Stryker families.
“We have now produced 600,000 SINCGARS radios for the U.S. Armed Forces with many more in service with the world’s armed forces. The Fort Wayne facility is currently building radios to fulfil an order from an overseas customer. SpearNet is in service overseas and is a key component along with the i-Aware night vision system to form the Individual Soldier System. SpearNet is the chosen radio for the Spanish Comfut Infantry system and is being brought into service by other international customers as well. “Nick Bobay said
“Is SideHat now in service?”
“GD and Harris won two initial Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) Appliqué contracts. We are expecting an IDIQ contract with a total contract framework $170 million for the SRW Appliqué system which will be fitted into the US Army’s vehicle fleet and believe that we will be very competitive on many of the task orders that will be released over the life of the contract. SideHat uses the SRW which was developed by Exelis. Our High Capacity Data Radio (HCDR), built in the UK, continues to win customers and the new version E(Enhanced)HCDR, with over two million lines of code, is now selling to our customers including the UK. EHCDR gives the customer similar functionality as the U.S. WNW (Wideband Network Waveform) radio system. There are twelve users of HCDR including the UK and Poland. We have assigned our Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) to the US DoD but Exelis retains the International rights along with the Joint Bowman Waveform (JBW).” Nick Bobay continued.
In 2012 ITT Exelis delivered an updated Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Bowman Waveform (JBW) to the JTRS Information Repository as part of a $4.2 million delivery order that also included Soldier Radio – Multifunctional (SR-M) software-defined radios.
The JBW allows U.S. forces to communicate directly and securely with U.K. allies using the Bowman VHF waveform on the battlefield. JBW functionality enables users from both countries to work as a