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26 Feb 03. With the first FRES supplier conference taking place in the UK on February 26th a number of contractors were briefing on their FCS offering and discussing whether these could migrate to the UK FRES requirement.

One U.S. sources suggested to BATTLESPACE that FRES would migrate into FCS with FRES having the same architecture and a vehicle built by Alvis under licence in the UK.

Other sources suggest that FRES is taking a different approach with the possibility of an interim upgrade of the Warrior force to create a new 30 tonne interim vehicle. However the age of the remaining fleet of CVR(T), 430 Series and Saxon vehicles is causing concern and whilst the FCLV requirement may fulfill some of these requirements there may be requirements for more interim vehicles. Other observers suggest that FRES will not be based on the network-centric concept of FCS but be more of an advanced platform requirement.

A number of contractors, particularly Raytheon, BAE STSTEMS and Lockheed Martin, suppliers to the TRACER/FSCS programme presented solutions applicable to both FCS and FRES. Raytheon presented an open architecture EO package mounted in a HMMV vehicle, based on its original TRACER/FSCS concept which include a TAC FLIR wide area scan system with INS and GPS and a series of commercials sensors mounted around the vehicle for 24 hour close surveillance. In addition the system had a silent watch generator.

Lockheed Martin presented its Snakeyes surveillance system which it has refined from TRASCER/FSCS and is offering for FRES. Snakeyes has a tactical radar mounted on the top with a passive array parabolic antenna. The system has been developed in preference to the Northrop Grumman ESA XXI, originally proposed for TRACER/FSCS but never put into production by the company.

BAE SYSTEMS showed BATTLESPACE a number of technologies developed for FCS under BIAS won in competition since submission by LSI Boeing. The company has won 4, Ground Sensor Unattended, Ground Vehicle Attended, Organic Air Vehicle and Platform Protection System.

The company also showed BATTLESPACE details of its Adaptive Joint C4ISR node system which it won in a $60m award in competition from Raytheon. This node, originally developed as a comms node, now combines comms, including range extension and waveform bridging, SIGINT and electronic attack. The system can accommodate 2 payloads, one for the MC2A Smart tanker concept and one for UAV use. The JTRS software codes are embedded into the system enabling the node to distribute and utilises multiple frequencies and radios, both military and commercial.

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