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7 Jan 03. BAE SYSTEMS, in partnership with the other shareholders of the multi-national TAC ONE company contracted by twelve NATO nations to define future communications standards, has reviewed the benefits to be derived from the previously prescribed technology (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) compared with those stemming from more open and forward-looking architectures, reflecting the ongoing and substantial investment in the civil IT and telecommunications sector.

Following consideration of the output of this study, the twelve nations have now approved a move to a ‘technology independent network architecture’ which is focused on applying appropriate interface and service-level technologies to minimise the constraints on the technologies used in the communications systems themselves.

Such systems will thereby not be constrained in their ability to support nations’ needs, and will be enabled to exploit further developments in commercial off-the-shelf equipment and features. This new approach recognises variations in national requirements and differing procurement timescales. It also supports interoperability, reduced procurement costs and the insertion of powerful new technologies, such as BAE SYSTEMS C4ISR’s All-IP offering for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence’s FALCON programme.

Comment: The demise of ATM in the civil market is now stretching into the military. This announcement would favour the approach taken by such companies as BAE SYSTEMS, Avaya (See BATTLESPACE C4ISTAR TECHNOLOGIES OCTOBER Volume 5 Issues 3, ‘WHY DEPLOY IP TELEPHONY IN A MILITARY ENVIRONMENT, By Roger Jones, Technical Director for Avaya across EMEA’), Lucent and EADS in pursuing IP-based technology and will be a blow to the Marconi offering for falcon which is ATM-based.

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