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By Adam Baddeley, Deputy Editor, BATTLESPACE

At the recent DVD exhibition Selex Communications revealed more details of their Command and Control strategy for the dismounted soldier. The strategy is based on their Situational Awareness Terminal (SAT), which provides section and fire team leaders with automated geo-location and other information sent via data enabled PRRs from each soldier in the section. Information generated by the SAT is only envisaged as sufficient for company level operations with a further application required for operations at and above this level. To extend the C2 picture Selex Communications have struck a deal with Northrop Grumman to integrate SAT with their higher-level C2PC (Command and Control PC) software, known as C2PC-PRR. Under the arrangement, as new C2PCversions are developed, the information is made available by Northrop Grumman to ensure seamless integration.

At the soldier level, Selex have been undertaking operational testing of the SAT with the British Army. The tests, carried out at Copehill Down, were designed to develop the concept using a section in an urban assault.

In addition to the PRR and the 2IC/Section Leader’s PDA, Selex have developed the fist-sized SID (Soldier Input Device) wired to the PRR. The squad was equipped with the device which gives soldiers the ability to send pre-installed messaging such as ‘In Position’, ‘Low on Ammunition’ etc. The test showed however that the users did not highly value this functionality.

Selex are currently working on ways to monitor the use of ammunition. Using built in switches, the SAT will receive the relevant information when magazines and 40mm grenades are removed from pouches. In order to alleviate confusion on the system, soldiers will have to remember to replace the empty magazines in the pouches upside down.

Current thinking at Selex sees GPS as not being integrated in the radio. This is mostly because typical position of the PRR on the soldier is on the left breast, which would tend to obscure GPS signals when prone etc.

Other perhaps more mundane PRR innovations were also on display at DVD. The PRR PTT is attached to the weapon via a Velcro strap. To meet customer requests a metal Picatinny M1913 rail mount has been developed into which the standard PTT can be fixed, minus its strap. This allows the user to switch between the two mounting options. An export contract for the first 80 examples is expected to be signed shortly.

Further demonstration of the PRR is to take place at Farnborough. A PRR based Intercom, recently cleared for airborne use for Westland Helicopters via an appliqué box, will be installed on an EH101 being used to transport 22 VIPS to Farnborough. Each VIP will have a simplex PRR, which allows passengers to communicate with the crew.

Frequency Hopping NVIS Lopo antenna

British firm South Midlands Communications (MSC) Ltd have completed development of a New NVIS Mobile Loop antenna for military and other platforms, in both road and off-road environments. The antenna, which is several orders of magnitude more effective than a standard whip antenna, is also being integrated with a newly developed ultra-fast tuner enabling recurrent tuning times of less than 10 milliseconds. No separate channel control is required for the antenna, thus giving it a key advantage over others on the market by allowing it to support frequency hopping at speeds of 100 jumps per second. The NVIS antenna which is being trialled by the US has a fitted weight of just 13Kg with a transmit PA ranging from 1.5-200W.

GD Piranha Evolution

Of the four or five competitors expected to bid for the FRES utility vehicle contract, on GD UK had a potential solution on show.

The FRES-focussed Piranha Evolution, is based on the Pirahna IV. To meet the FRES weight and payload requirement GD envisage two options depending on the timeframe, up dating the current IV version with improved drive train, su

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