U.S Army Network Modernization Moves to Full Rate Production
Following a Defense Acquisition Board program review in May, the U.S. Army has received approval to proceed to full-rate production and fielding of its mobile tactical communications network backbone, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2. WIN-T Increment 2 is serving as the tactical Internet connection in overseas operations in Afghanistan, Africa and Iraq and is currently fielded to 12 brigade combat teams and four division headquarters.
The decision indicates the program has been deemed mature, has met all its basic requirements and reduced its risk so that it can proceed with fielding for the duration of the program lifecycle. The full-rate production decision enables the program office to procure and field the capability to all remaining Army units that are projected to receive WIN-T Increment 2 through fiscal 2028.
“In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, divisions and brigade combat teams deploying to Afghanistan have utilized WIN-T Increment 2 capabilities to provide connectivity while on the move in remote areas, support regional advise and assist missions and to provide vital network reach back connectivity in a variety of missions,” Col. Ed Swanson, USA, WIN-T project manager, said in a written announcement.
WIN-T Increment 2 is a critical part of the Army’s tactical network modernization strategy and the backbone of its network capability sets. Combat vehicles integrated with the system provide the on-the-move communications, mission command and situational awareness that commanders need to lead from anywhere on the battlefield, according to the Army announcement. The system enables deployed soldiers down to the company level operating in remote and challenging terrain to maintain voice, video and data communications while on patrol, with connectivity rivaling that found in a stationary command post.
WIN-T Increment 2 has been integrated onto different platforms including Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, Humvees and Stryker platforms. To date, the Army has fielded the system to 12 brigade combat teams and four division headquarters.
As fixed network infrastructure was dismantled and forward operating bases closed down during retrograde operations, Security Force Assistance Brigades were still able to conduct their missions and effectively communicate by employing the satellite and terrestrial communication and mission command capabilities of WIN-T Increment 2.
The program will continue to improve, enhance and simplify WIN-T Increment 2 capability through technical refreshment and engineering change proposals.