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Rugged computers for US Army vehicles

DRS Technologies : 14 August, 2007  (New Product)
DRS Technologies to supply rugged computer systems for use in vehicles of the US Army and Marine Corps.
DRS Technologies has received a $131 million contract for Applique computer systems inserted with new technologies such as multi-core processors, for the US Army's Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2)/Blue Force Tracking (BFT) programs. The contract was placed by the US Army's Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command (CELCMC) at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.

The company's DRS Tactical Systems unit in Melbourne, Florida will perform the work and is scheduled to begin delivering the computer systems this November. The new computer systems will include multi-core processors, increased memory, and expansion capability to allow for future technology improvements. These enhancements provide the computer systems with better graphics processing, data handling and system networking capabilities.

The computer systems support the Army's BFT requirements and are being installed on more than 40 types of US Army and Marine Corps wheeled and tracked vehicles, at tactical operations centres and other command post platforms.

"This newest contract award is the largest order we've received from the US Army to provide or upgrade our rugged tactical computers for their FBCB2/BFT programs," said Michael Sheehan, president of DRS' Tactical Computing strategic business unit. "Our Appliqué computer system has proven its value and reliability during demanding combat operations. We are excited about the opportunity to deliver additional systems with critical new technologies that provide even greater capabilities to the warfighter."

The objective of the FBCB2/BFT programs is to deliver a digital battle command and control information system that will provide commanders and soldiers at tactical units, from the brigade level to the individual soldier, with access to real-time information, allowing for better command and control decision making and enhanced situational awareness.

This digitization program, which incorporates the rugged Applique computer systems, provides Army units with information superiority through situational awareness, and therefore, a battlefield advantage. Information superiority is one of the cornerstones of the Army's modernisation and transformation into a more flexible and modular force that deploys in brigades rather than divisions.

The FBCB2/BFT computer systems provide tactical units with a global positioning system location, an ability to track and decipher between friendly and enemy combatants via a combat identification system, an ability to interface with terrestrial communication radios such as the single channel ground and airborne radio system or the enhanced position location reporting system, and the ability to access a satellite communications system.
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