The U.S. Army’s current tactical network delivers a wide range of capabilities for warfighters, including unprecedented communications on the move. But the complexity can overwhelm commanders who have countless critical tasks to complete and soldiers’ lives in their hands. Future tactical networks will automate many processes and may be smart enough to advise commanders, similar to JARVIS, Iron Man’s computerized assistant.
The complexities of the U.S. Army’s networks and spectrum allocation processes interfere with the need to reassign units to different tasks, creating major delays and presenting serious challenges.
U.S. Army officials are standardizing the information technology architecture on many current and future ground combat vehicles. The effort is designed to reduce the size, weight and power of electronics; reduce life-cycle costs; and improve interoperability while providing warfighters all of the data and communications capability required on the modern battlefield.
Force support will change with both stateside relocation and a new way of functioning.
Support to the U.S. Army warfighter’s communications and electronics assets will be taking a new direction as the Army redeploys back to the United States following more than a decade of combat deployments in Southwest Asia. Years of field maintenance will transition to base support, and the many commercial devices incorporated into battlefield operations will require a new approach to service and sustainment.
Melding the disciplines of spectrum combat will enable greater flexibility and more capabilities.
The growth in battlefield electronics has spurred a corresponding growth in electronic warfare. In the same manner that innovative technologies have spawned new capabilities, electronic warfare is becoming more complex as planners look to incorporate new systems into the battlespace.
Officials work to provide a new cloud approach across the service as well as the Defense Department.
U.S. Army officials estimate that by the end of the fiscal year, they will go into production on a new cloud computing solution that could potentially be made available across the Defense Department and could eventually be used to expand cloud capabilities on the battlefield. The platform-as-a-service product incorporates enhanced automation, less expensive software licensing and built-in information assurance.
The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts in a networked software engineering realm.
A network built after its major move to a new base is allowing the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command to link diverse communications systems into an overarching network. This enables capabilities ranging from debugging software updates before they are sent to the front to a multinational exercise for validating operational activities.
Aberdeen Proving Ground becomes the home of high-techology development, validation and deployment.
The march of digitization has changed the mission of a longtime U.S. Army maintenance and repair depot from fixing broken radio systems in a warehouse to supporting troops using the newest software-driven communications devices in the field. This support ranges from testing or even manufacturing new gear in partnership with industry to integrating new information systems in combat zones.
In many cases, haste makes waste as the U.S. Army wrestles with the inherent contradictions that emerged as it tries to speed new information technologies to warfighters.
General Dynamics C4 Systems, Scottsdale, Arizona, was awarded a $78 million cost-plus-award-fee indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for software development and software maintenance efforts for the Command Post of the Future System. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
General Dynamics C4 Systems Incorporated was awarded a $3.7 billion firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, level-of-effort, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The award will provide for the procurement of the Command Hardware Systems-4. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Contracting Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
QinetiQ North America, McLean, Virginia, recently announced that the U.S. Army has awarded the company a time and materials continuation task order valued at $22 million if all options are exercised, to support the Unit Level Logistics System - Aviation, Enhanced [ULLS-A(E)]. The Software Engineering Center, Fort Lee, Virginia, awarded the task order through GSA Region 4 off the Alliant Government-Wide Acquisition Contract.
Syracuse Research Corporation, North Syracuse, New York, was awarded a more than $6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the improvement services in support of the lightweight counter-mortar radar units. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Contracting Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
SRC Incorporated, North Syracuse, New York, was awarded about $9 million for an omni-directional weapon location radar prototype that is a 360-degree counter-fire prototype that offers full-hemispherical coverage. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
ITT Communications Systems, Fort Wayne, Indiana, was recently a $569 contract modification to deliver Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System ancillary equipment, spare parts, and repair and engineering services. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
Niitek Incorporated, Dulles, Virginia, has been awarded a more than $11 million contract for support services for the Husky Mounted Detection System, including system installation, training, and sustainment services to maintain fielded systems. U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Contracting Center, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity.
Raytheon Network Centric Systems, Dallas, Texas, was awarded recently awarded a $25 million contract to provide for the foreign military sale of driver's vision enhancer and commander vision enhancer for the Saudi Arabian national guard. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Contracting Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, Akron, Ohio, was recently awarded an $85 million contract for the procurement of 42 MX-20 lite sensor B-kits; 21 MX-20 lite installation A-kits; five upgraded ground control stations and associated gondolas, to include required software upgrades; and 10 STARLite installation A-kits in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
Modus Operandi, Melbourne, Florida has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command to develop a system that identifies critical words and phrases for intelligence analysis, and maintains lists of these key words. The Vocabulary - Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (V-ISR) project, will address the challenges associated with processing overwhelming amounts of intelligence data.