JWID AND NITEWORKS STREAMLINE PROCUREMENT OF C4ISR SYSTEMS
26 Jun 03. Brigadier Rick Bounsall, recently appointed Director Equipment Capability (Command, Control & Information Infrastructure), gave an upbeat talk regarding the future procurement strategy of advanced C4ISR systems at the JWID Press day.
“Using the MoD/Industry partnership established with the BAE Systems lead for Nightworks (previously ENIF), we can complement the work done during JWID to develop and model the requirements for the UK’s Network Enabled Capability”, Bounsall told BATTLESPACE, “We intend to use the international exposure afforded by JWID to inform on broader experimentation and system procurement.” The JWID network will now remain in place as a permanent laboratory facility.
The companies involved see JWID as a means to demonstrate the ability of their equipment to interoperate with other systems. “The aim of JWID is to demonstrate that different systems can work together on one platform, thus [providing the user with a compact system of systems to fulfil multiple roles.
One system which cam e out with high praise was the Raptor recce pod which has been fielded over the last two years by the RAF and sued to great effect during the recent Iraq conflict. The imagery provided by Raptor was so good that we were able to send pictures of targets direct to news organisations demonstrating our abilities in advanced targeting techniques without causing collateral damage. We can now see the enemy 24/7 through darkness, fog and sandstorm, which in some cases in Iraq led to the Republican Guard forces just giving up and laying doen their arms.” Wing Commander John Cole told BATTLESPACE. Raptor has the ability to transfer target locations direct to the commander in the filed by data link thus speeding up the process of calling in support and preventing the enemey from moving assets.
“Raptor and associated UAVs and JSTARS have become the eyes and the ears of the commander. The secret is the assessment and filtering of information coming from the many sensors to ensure that the ground commander has the most up to date information. An example of this being that ELINT information is more rapidly transmitted than IMINT. The TCISYS-DGIA system developed by ESRI, ERDAS and Ultra exploits the Raptor images and compares them to those stored in the Boeing Dynamic Tactical Imagery Library and the Lockheed Martin seasonal map system.
27 companies were involved in 36 demonstrations at JWID and with this new initiative it looks like JWID will become, what it was intended to be, a part of the procurement process with the possibility of the ‘golden nugget’ purchasing policy, as adopted by the USA, purchasing systems after the show.
Our ‘one to watch’ from last year, the Ultra Bird Table planning system is now being trialled by the ARC and Ultra showed a compact version this year on a flat panel screen.