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16 Sep 02. MBM Technology Ltd has been awarded a contract to supply the rugged handheld computer for the MoD’s Fire Control Application (FCA) to be deployed with the Royal Artillery and Infantry. The Fire Control Application is being procured as part of the overall Fire Control – Battlefield Information Systems Application (FC-BISA) programme, which was awarded to Logica in June this year. FC-BISA will replace the existing Battlefield Artillery Target Engagement System (BATES) and will be the first BISA to run on the UK Armed Forces’ BOWMAN tactical communications infrastructure.

The £4.4m contract will involve the supply of over 600 of MBM’s LT465 handheld computer, with delivery starting this year and scheduled through 2003. The LT465 is a variant of the company’s LT450 ‘Termite’ rugged handheld computer and is designed and built to demanding military standards to withstand harsh environmental field conditions. It has also passed the highest (DEF STAN 59-41 Land Class A) standards for resistance to electro-magnetic interference and low signal emissions.

David Jones, Managing Director MBM Technology Ltd, commented, “We believe that the Termite offers the best package on the market, with regard to its performance, compact design and degree of ruggedness. This contract puts us in a strong position to build a greater share of the growing UK and international military market in rugged computing”.

MBM, a successful defence contractor for over 50 years, moved into the rugged systems business in 1998 with the acquisition of Lago Systems (Europe) Ltd in 1998, and has developed the ‘Termite’ range of handheld rugged computers over the past two years. Other ‘Termite’ customers include the US Department of Defense, QinetiQ, Thales and Secure Systems Production Ltd. MBM also builds rugged data storage devices for defence and aerospace applications, and has recently announced the introduction of the LT600 rugged laptop computer.

Comment: There is now a serious momentum behind the implementation of a number of computer systems into the British Army to support digitization. This is an important order and the largest for MBM which solidifies its position in the UK market and provides a springboard for overseas sales. Paravant reported orders for BOWMAN UDT’s last month and other developments are expected in due course.

Julian Nettlefold, BATTLESPACE Editor visited Paravant on Thursday and we will be running a feature on the company in our AUSA issue.

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