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US ARMY SELECTS GENERAL DYNAMICS FOR VoIP CONTRACT

10 Apr 03. The U.S. Army has selected General Dynamics Decision Systems, a business unit in the General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology group, to integrate a voice and data communications system called the Secure Enroute Communications Package – Improved (SECOMP-I), which relies on voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) technologies to provide robust collaborative and high-quality voice communications for forces enroute to points of deployment. The initial award is valued at $7m, with a potential value of $304 million over
the 10- year life of the program.

SECOMP-I will enable joint tactical forces to arrive at their deployment destinations fully briefed on the most current intelligence reports and plan updates available, improving their ability to “see first, understand first, act first and finish decisively.” That doctrine is a key means of tactical success in the Army’s Objective Force plans.

Using SECOMP-I, deploying forces will be able to continue mission planning and exchange secure voice and data communications with Army commanders, as well as other services, while enroute to an area of operations. Additionally, a VoIP intercom enables up to 15 users to exchange data and voice communications locally; the flying local area network provides secure connectivity between aircraft while flying in formation. By combining data and voice over an IP infrastructure, SECOMP-I’s VoIP technology simplifies the network’s architecture, allows for fewer network components and more readily enables remote control of radios.

“We are in a position to provide warfighters with maximum mission planning flexibility in an extremely collaborative environment,” said Ron Taylor, a vice president at General Dynamics Decision Systems. “With this system, troops aboard aircraft will use the most modern collaborative planning tools available to receive real-time intelligence about the changing battle space environment, all while on the way to the mission.”

General Dynamics’ SECOMP-I system is modular and easily rolls on or off C- 130 and C-17 aircraft. It also works in a dismounted configuration for ground operations. The system provides beyond-line-of-sight communications using a tactical UHF satellite link as well as VHF and INMARSAT communications to the Joint Tactical Forces.

General Dynamics designed the precursor to the SECOMP-I program when it was part of a team awarded the SECOMP-I Minus program in January 2002, to meet an urgent need within the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne division. Although the improved system is an Army contract, it will involve joint use throughout the U.S. military.

“We have planned for this program in every way, from design through development and production, including the demonstration of its interoperability, and we are ready to meet every program objective,” said Taylor.

General Dynamics Decision Systems’ SECOMP-I team includes Dataline (Norfolk, VA); Aerospace Integration Corporation (Ft. Walton Beach, FL); Carley Corporation (Orlando, FL); ARINC Engineering Services (Annapolis, MD); EMS Technologies (Ontario, Canada); TECOM Industries Inc. (Thousand Oaks, CA); Harris Corporation (Melbourne, FL); and IEA Systems (Longmont, CO).

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