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3 Mar 03. ITT Industries Aerospace/Communications Division (A/CD) has been selected to develop software to demonstrate interoperability between Britain’s newest tactical communications system and America’s future tactical radios. The U.S. Department of Defense Joint Program Office (JPO) for the evolving Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) has awarded A/CD a $2.2m contract to integrate five modes of the British Bowman VHF radio waveform into a JTRS prototype to demonstrate the ability of JTRS technology to host the new British tactical radio system waveform.

The U.S. and U.K are undertaking a broad initiative on interoperability and this particular task is addressing tactical communications interoperability. Both countries are working together to implement the waveform from Britain’s newest tactical communications program into a compliant waveform for the software communications architecture that is the basis for future U.S. communications.

British and U.S. VHF radios already have many similarities thanks to a development effort led by ITT that leveraged advances in technology between the two countries over the past several years. However, the way radios process information is frequently “country” or manufacturer unique. These differences are analogous to the incompatible recording standards used by VHS and Beta video recorders. The development of a JTRS-compliant Bowman waveform will provide the opportunity for interoperability between British and U.S. forces.
“The initiative to develop and evaluate communications interoperability between U.S. and U.K. forces underscores the benefit coming from ITT’s position as a major supplier of tactical communications to both countries,” said Lou Dollive, president of ITT A/CD.

Elements of the Bowman system will be used by all U.K. forces from the dismounted infantry soldier to the theater force commander at the headquarters. ITT has a $450m contract with General Dynamics U.K. to manufacture 25,000 thousand combat net radios, 500 hundred airborne radios, and 4,300 thousand High Capacity Data Radios, along most of the other critical VHF system elements, including the Network Data System which provides wireless networking.

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