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15 Sep 05. SELEX Communications featured an enhanced version of its Sentinel Internet Protocol (IP) switch at DSEi.

Sentinel is an innovative solution to tomorrow’s Battlespace communications needs. It takes advantage of the huge investment in civil communications using IP technologies a fundamental building block of the World Wide Web. It supports the delivery of Network Enabled Capability (NEC), whilst ensuring that existing investment in bespoke defence communications can be taken into the future and commercially funded developments can be introduced into the military domain.

Phil Robinson, Managing Director of SELEX Communications in the United Kingdom, commented, “Sentinel provides an easy to deploy, high capacity and affordable future-proof solution. We have built on breakthroughs in developing tactical All-IP systems for British requirements, reflected in Sentinel’s selection to provide the “voice” of the FALCON networked communications system at the heart of our Armed Forces’ emerging NEC. The company can offer a new – yet proven – commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) approach to the design and supply of military networks for customers across the globe seeking highly cost-effective means to enhance their defence communications.”

Within Sentinel, both voice and data traffic are managed as a single, simple entity to provide robust, high capacity, scalable communications, whilst ensuring that voice traffic is prioritised to ensure a high Quality of Service (QoS). Networks are managed remotely using a simple and intuitive graphical user interface via the industry standard Simple Network Management Protocol.

The solution employs the latest generation of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephones with added military features. Voice traffic passes directly between phones, with data compression techniques delivering high QoS in minimum bandwidth.

Sentinel requires no centralised database or management function. It copes with intermittent bearer availability and network fragmentation, and features graceful network degradation.

Sentinel can be quickly and flexibly deployed across levels of command, employing “plug-and-play” technology with minimal cabling needs. It features a wide range of commercial and military interfaces. Sentinel converts traffic formats between linked networks and provides interconnections between, for example, All-IP systems and EUROCOM or commercial systems. It can also be configured as a tactical switch serving a Local Area Network, providing scalable, distributed military features within multiple or single locations.

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