U.S. Army leaders are sloughing off some of the old ways of fielding technology and embracing commercial and government advances in tactical communications. Facing a technology revolution, dangerous adversaries and budgetary constraints, leaders are working to get capabilities into the hands of warfighters faster.
As U.S. Army leaders assess the future of tactical communications and networking programs, the service is moving forward with several measures to extend improved capabilities to soldiers at the platoon and squad levels.
Service officials spent most of the summer participating in a major review of the Army’s network modernization strategy. Gen. Mark Milley, USA, the Army chief of staff, informed Congress in May that he had directed a “rigorous and painful review” of tactical communication programs out of concerns that systems being developed may not be sufficiently hardened against electronic attacks.
Television Equipment Associates Inc., Brewster, New York, was awarded a $15,758,350 firm-fixed-price contract for Tactical Communications and Protective System kits. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Work will be performed in Brewster, New York, with an estimated completion date of September 13, 2016. Fiscal 2016 other procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $15,758,350 were obligated at the time of the award. The Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W91CRB-16-F-0028).
General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited, Oakdale, South Wales, has been awarded £135 million ($193,441,053) contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to provide enhanced Bowman tactical communications systems to the British Armed Forces. The BCIP5.6 contract will allow for the Bowman tactical communications equipment currently used by the UK military to receive a series of enhancements and upgrades. These include the rollout of approximately 12,000 new data terminals and an updated version of the Battle Management System. The enhanced equipment will be delivered beginning in 2018, and will support an increased operational tempo.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Thales Communications Incorporated, of Clarksburg, Maryland, a contract to provide public safety and tactical communications products to DHS under its new Tactical Communications (TacCom) program. Through this multiple-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) program, DHS will quickly procure vital tactical radio equipment and other products and services. The agency will use the equipment to support reliable and interoperable public safety communications for its missions to keep the homeland safe, including border protection, customs enforcement, drug interdiction, and emergency response to natural and man-made disasters.