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17 Feb 12. ITT Exelis delivered an updated Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Bowman Waveform (JBW) to the JTRS Information
Repository as part of a $4.2m delivery order that also included Soldier
Radio – Multifunctional (SR-M) software-defined radios. The JBW allows U.S. forces to communicate directly and securely with U.K. allies using the Bowman VHF waveform on the battlefield. JBW functionality enables users from both countries to work as a cohesive team during combat operations, sharing situational awareness information more efficiently and effectively, rather than
using separate channels to pass information back and forth.
“This radio-agnostic approach toward waveform development under the JTRS business model provides our government customer greater value and increased competition for radios,” said Ken Peterman, president of the Exelis Communications and Force Protection Systems business area. “At the same time, it also provides greater capability to U.S. and U.K. military forces through interoperability on the battlefield.”
Functional qualification of the waveform in the JTRS Information Repository has been completed. The SR-M radios delivered to the JTRS Program Executive Office in this sale will be transferred to the U.K. government for upcoming assessment and trials for the JBW. JBW development and production of SR-M radios were completed at Exelis Electronic Systems facilities in Fort Wayne, Ind., Clifton, N.J., and Tempe, Ariz.
18 Feb 12. As international communications specialists and armed forces prepare to assemble in London for the 2012 Tactical Communications conference, one of the key speakers has lifted the lid on immediate plans to deliver Android phones to the frontline. In recent months, the US Army has been making leaps and bounds into the incorporation of smart technology into the wider battlefield network, under what has been called “an accelerated approval process.” Speaking ahead of his address at Defence IQ’s Tactical Communications 2012 event in London this April, Michael McCarthy, director of operations for the Army’s Brigade Modernization Command Mission Command Complex (MCC), said that the plan was to give troops the right phones for the right reasons.
“It’s not just to give them another shiny thing to hang on their equipment carriers,” McCarthy explained, indicating that advanced analysis is underway for all soldiers in theatre to eventually be issued a smart phone, provided that the long-term costs are beneficial. A few of these devices have already been made available to forces in theatre, with 40 touch screen phones hosting an experimental secure network dedicated to US bases two years ago. By March, 50 more will be shipped out, along with 75 tablet computers. As standard-issue equipment, the phones should allow units to share live video, GPS coordinates, voice communication, and ultimately build an accurate integrated picture of the battlefield. The Army is also continuing to invest and develop its own App store, providing specialist platforms for soldiers, which includes foreign language translation and equipment location services. Open-source Google Android software has reportedly been considered the preferred foundation for the technology, despite Apple iPads proving popular among other aspects of the military, as well as to other forces worldwide. Tablet devices are also expected to be certified components of several global future soldier programmes, including India’s F-INSAS and France’s FÉLIN, and have been incorporated successfully into the British Artillery training programme. McCarthy will update the international community on Day Two of the three day Tactical Communications event, being held at the Mayfair Conference Centre, London, UK, between April 23 – 25. (Source: IQPC)
16 Feb 12. A competition pitting Northrop Grumman against R