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25 Oct 05. The UK Mod has signed a contract with General Dynamics UK Ltd, EADS DS and Paradigm Services, to deliver the Joint Networks Integration Body (JNIB) programme.

The JNIB has been established by the MoD to identify and deliver fully programmed and de-risked solutions to integration capability shortfalls across the network of networks that form the Global Information Infrastructure (GII). It will consider all Lines of Development in order to deliver ‘end-to-end’ communications capability, and will act as the blueprint for future programmes to ensure that the capability is sustained as new networks are procured. Once implemented, these solutions will yield significant improvements in operational capability for the end users.

Following a highly successful pilot study, funding has now been approved for a 5-year contract. The contract award announced today has a total budget in the region of £16 million (GBP).

The joint MoD/Industry JNIB team consists of the MoD’s Bowman And Tactical Communications & Information Systems (BATCIS) Integrated Project Team (IPT), Satellite Communications Acquisition Team (SAT) IPT, Theatre & Formation Communication Systems (TFCS) IPT and stakeholders representing Defence Communications Services Agency (DCSA), Integration Authority (IA), Director Equipment Capability (DEC) Command Control & Information Infrastructure (CCII), Command & Battlespace Management (Land) (CBM(L)) and with the industry companies General Dynamics UK Ltd, EADS Defence and Security Systems, and Paradigm Services. DEC(CCII) is Customer 1 for JNIB and in the future the programme will be managed by the newly formed End-to-End Communications IPT.

The composition of the JNIB team is unique, consisting as it does of members from both industry and the MoD stakeholder communities, with innovative contracting arrangements underpinning the team’s ability to work together to provide improved capabilities whilst maximising value for money.

Initially, work will be based on the BOWMAN, Cormorant, and Skynet 5 systems, but the programme includes a plan to expand the number of systems addressed by JNIB as soon as practical. The commercial arrangements put in place for JNIB will enable the wider engagement of industry companies, who will bring specific expertise of their particular systems, to JNIB. The contract and methods of working reflect the ‘joint’ ethos of the programme.

Brigadier Rick Bounsall, the BATCIS IPT Team Leader, said; “Following a successful pilot that has demonstrated how Industry and the MoD can work together to drive interoperability solutions across networks, I am delighted to see the full launch of JNIB which is a major step forward in providing the communications backbone to support Networked Enabled Capability (NEC).”

Dr Sandy Wilson, President and Managing Director of General Dynamics UK Ltd, said: “We are delighted to see the joint integration body concept extended. The integration of Battlefield Information System Applications (BISAs) onto BOWMAN is being greatly assisted through the Joint System Integration Body, and now JNIB will allow integration across the bearer networks. I am sure that the collaborative working environment of JNIB will help the MoD achieve their NEC vision.”

Len Tyler, Chief Executive Officer, EADS DS, said: “JNIB will provide a platform for industry and the MoD stakeholders to work together to achieve greater interoperability of systems for the user. EADS DS is proud to play its part in this unique programme.”

Malcolm Peto, Managing Director, Paradigm Services, said: “JNIB is a unique opportunity to work with the customer to maximise the effectiveness of its communications assets including Paradigm satellite services. A brilliant effort in partnering with the various industry providers and MoD agencies has carried us to this point and will continue throughout the programme.”

Comment: This looks like the start of an integrated UK NEC system first

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