24 Jul 07. The U.S. Department of Defense and the U.K. Ministry of Defense have taken a major step toward communications interoperability. In a demonstration involving the U.K.’s newest tactical communications program, Bowman, and the emerging U.S. Joint Tactical Radio System, engineers shared voice and data communications across two different radio systems, achieving a major milestone for the collaborative tactical communications project. Using a British Advanced Digital Radio and U.S. JTRS Software Defined Radio test bed, ITT engineers were able to pass secure voice and networked data between the two nations’ systems. The demonstration took place at ITT’s Aerospace/Communications Division in Clifton, N.J., on June 13. The JTRS Bowman Very High Frequency waveform software application was developed by ITT under contract to the JTRS Network Enterprise Domain to allow operators of U.S. JTRS radios the ability to participate directly in the U.K.’s Bowman network. The waveform software has completed Formal Qualification Testing and is currently undergoing JTRS Software Communications Architecture evaluation by the JTRS Test & Evaluation Laboratory, prior to its delivery into the JTRS information repository later this summer. The waveform interoperability demonstration was repeated using a U.S. JTRS Crypto Equipment Application, developed under separate contract by Harris RF Communications Division, to prove that U.S. security service that supports the waveform is also compatible with U.K. standards. The waveform application is the software that tells radios how to receive and process information. Most waveforms are country or system unique and therefore unable to ‘talk’ with other systems. With this new, common waveform providing communications functionality, U.S. and U.K. forces will be able to communicate and share data, despite their different radio systems. The resulting battlefield communications interoperability is essential in today’s warfighting environment. When deployed, the U.S. JTRS Bowman VHF waveform will improve effectiveness and safety for the armed forces of both countries.
17 Jul 07. Swift Engineering Inc., a leading manufacturer of aircraft, aerospace and designer of highly engineered vehicles, has chosen to team with Raytheon Company (www.raytheon.com) to pursue the STUAS/Teir II competition providing a dynamic solution to meet the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ critical requirements for a state-of-the-art small tactical unmanned aircraft system. Swift Engineering, Inc. has designed and created the Killer Bee Unmanned System for just such a role, and feels that Raytheon will provide the expertise in defense systems assuring a successful STUAS/Tier II bid.