is debating whether to move forward with a solution from
the tactical radio team or to accept an alternative. “The aviation community is looking at an option through Boeing, the
company that provides the Apache helicopter itself. They
have provided a communications platform that may be good
enough for them to use for the Apache fleet, that meets the
basic requirement. We’re looking at a business case analysis
of what is the best thing for the Army, the taxpayers and the
soldier,” Col. Ross reveals.
Moran says the Army’s tactical communications efforts may
dramatically affect Army operations. “The Army, in coordi-
nation with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, has stepped out on
an acquisition strategy that is going to deliver both airborne
and terrestrial tactical radios that are going to revolutionize
the battlefield,” he says. “By that, I mean the Army’s moving
wideband information down to the tactical edge, whether that
tactical edge is a mounted or dismounted squad or platoon,
or whether it is a rotary wing aircraft, either an Apache or a
commander in the back of a Black Hawk.”
To some extent, Col. Ross disagrees with Moran about the
revolutionary nature of the Army’s tactical communications
plans. “I would not necessarily say it’s revolutionary. We’re
using an incremental approach,” he states.
He does, however, cite the promise of another waveform,
the Mobile User Objective System. The waveform connects
with the U.S. Navy’s new satellite communications network.
“There is potential, I will say, for that waveform to somewhat
change operations,” Col. Ross says.
For instance, if a soldier became separated from his or her
unit, or was in an area blocked by mountains or jungle foliage,
the waveform still would provide the soldier with the ability to
communicate, Col. Ross asserts. He describes the system as “a
huge benefit to soldiers” and says the waveform will be tested
over the next year. “That will give almost a cellphonelike
capability for a soldier to communicate with another platform
from practically any spot on the world. It gives soldiers at any
level the ability for satellite communications on demand—
something that’s never been provided to our soldiers to this
degree,” he declares.
contact: George I. Seffers, email@example.com
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