Boeing [NYSE: BA] and partner Science Applications International Corporation [NYSE: SAI], lead systems integrator for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, have delivered six additional network integration capability "B-kits" to vehicle integrators BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems and AM General, bringing the total number of B-kits delivered to date to 18.
The B-kits are being installed on Bradley fighting vehicles, Abrams battle tanks and High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles as part of the first "spin out" of FCS capabilities to the current force.
"The delivery of enhanced network capability to the current force gives soldiers a distinct technological advantage on the battlefield, providing dramatically enhanced situational awareness and the ability to direct precision fires," said Dennis Muilenburg, vice president-general manager, Boeing Combat Systems, and FCS program manager. "Fielded together with Tactical- and Urban Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) and the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System, the B-kits represent the first step in upgrading the current force with future force capability."
The Spin Out 1 B-kits are comprised of the Integrated Computer System, Battle Command System software, System of Systems Common Operation Environment (SOSCOE) software and the Ground Platform Communications System, which includes the Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio.
The Battle Command and SOSCOE software enables interoperability between systems, prioritizes raw data from sensors such as the Tactical- and Urban-UGS slated for Spin Out 1 and allows that data to be displayed on the screens of current force vehicles, providing soldiers with enhanced situational awareness. The software will be integrated seamlessly with the vehicles' existing software for use in initial qualification and safety release test activities that are required before soldier testing can begin. A final software release this fall will enable the control and monitoring of multiple UGS fields.
Vehicles equipped with B-kit hardware and software will deploy this fall to support Army Evaluation Task Force test and evaluation activities scheduled to begin in early 2008.