An industry team led by Boeing [NYSE: BA] submitted its bid this week to design and develop the Airborne and Maritime/Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System (AMF JTRS) for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Boeing's best-of-industry team offers a low-cost, low-risk solution based on successful demonstrations that showcased interoperability between JTRS radios and radios currently used by joint forces. The demonstrations also validated the porting of key waveforms and successfully tested a 200-node network that featured self-forming and self-healing capabilities.
Boeing's teammates -- Harris, L-3 Communications, Rockwell Collins, BBN Technologies, Milcom Systems Corporation and Northrop Grumman -- have supported the AMF JTRS pre-system design and development phase since 2004. Contract award is anticipated third/fourth quarter 2007.
"Our design meets the government's requirements for a low-risk, low-cost solution that takes the joint services to the next level in networked communications," said Leo Conboy, Boeing AMF JTRS program manager. "By leveraging our market-leading experience in network-centric technologies, we've demonstrated transformational networking capability and interoperability with the key legacy radio waveforms needed by the warfighter."
Numerous pre-system design and development demonstrations validated the system's ability to support hundreds of user nodes that serve as routers, allowing warfighters to create self-forming and self-healing mobile, ad-hoc networks that can speed the flow of information across the battlespace.
A key risk reduction demonstration featured five airborne prototype radios running both legacy voice communications and the Wideband Networking Waveform, which enables Internet-like capabilities. The team provided multi-node networking simulations using virtual and hardware-based radios, featuring Boeing's Heterogeneous Networking capability with legacy datalinks and low latency edge networking using Rockwell's Tactical Targeting Networking Technologies. Communications effects models have been developed to demonstrate network performance in a virtual environment, providing the capability to fly various scenarios to demonstrate system improvements.
Boeing's AMF JTRS communications system will provide warfighters with software-defined radios that feature Internet-like capabilities, allowing air, land and sea assets to communicate in a network-centric environment. The battlespace networking capability supports real-time text, voice and multi-media information, including the ability to stream live audio and video, share maps and real-time collaboration and use Voiceover Internet Protocol.
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