Armor & Mobility

MAR/APR 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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The Army will be conducting the T2C2 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in March 2017, with test results supporting a full-rate production decision, which is expected later in the year. A successful decision will enable the Army to begin fielding the capability. SHEDDING POUNDS FOR EASY SPEED OF MANEUVER Significantly aiding in the Army's expeditionary force, new network enabling capabilities could replace vehicles and other large legacy equipment with a few deployable transit cases. The small form factor terrestrial radio, for example, will provide a significant reduction in size, weight and power (SWaP) compared with the legacy at-the-halt High Capacity Line Of Sight (HCLOS) radio, which needs two sheltered-vehicles and two large antennas to relay information. In addition, this interoperable terrestrial radio will improve the robustness of the Army's tactical communications network by providing a significant increase in bandwidth, along with increased range, with low to no latency versus SATCOM. Not only will the terrestrial radio provide point-to-point communications, but unlike the HCLOS, it will also provide point-to-multipoint communications, enabling Soldiers to shoot multiple shots with one antenna mast, versus needing extra antennas to shoot to multiple terminals. The terrestrial radio operational test is scheduled for Network Integration Evolution 17.2 this July at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Army anticipates to begin fielding the radio to Expeditionary Signal Battalions in FY 2018. Like the terrestrial radio, the Army's new Troposcatter Transmission (Tropo) capability significantly extends network range and throughput, and greatly reduces SWaP over current Tropo capability. Tropo bounces signals off of the Earth's atmosphere to provide beyond-line-of-sight capability without using expensive and limited satellite resources. Both the terrestrial radio and TROPO reduce the Army's over-reliance on satellites, while saving significant costs by reducing expensive commercial satellite airtime leases. The Army anticipates to begin fielding the new Tropo Transmission system in FY 2019. "As we come up against increasingly capable enemies in complex environments, it is imperative that commanders have redundant paths of communication to enable uninterrupted mission command and situational awareness on the modern battlefield," Henderson said. "Both the terrestrial radio and the new Tropo transmission capabilities will enable commanders to fight in satellite-denied environments with the robust network communications needed to be successful in near- peer environments requiring immediate and decisive-action." The Army is also looking to shed pounds by leveraging the small form factor Modular Communications Node - Advanced Enclave (MCN-AE) to enable intelligence users to connect to all the same resources they would typically do when using the Trojan intelligence network, except over the tactical WIN-T network. These two boxes are much smaller than the tactical elements of the intelligence Trojan SPIRIT system (a large truck and trailer). On the current timeline the Army anticipates to begin fielding MCN-AE in FY 2018. Meanwhile, using the same network agnostic hardware "box" as the MCN-AE, Commercial Coalition Equipment (CCE) provides expeditionary network connectivity to coalition, Non-secure Internet Protocol Router (NIPR), or commercial networks, in support of both civil and military operations. In December 2016 the Army upgraded the 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion's CCE equipment, which was being used for Army Warfighting Assessments to enable U.S. forces This Interim Troposcatter Transmission (Tropo) solution (concept depiction for market research only), seen left at Fort Bragg, NC, significantly reduces footprint and lift compared with the legacy Tropospheric Scatter system seen right during operation "Desert Hawk" at Bisbee-Douglas airport in Bisbee, AZ. (Left: U.S. Army photo by Amy Walker, PEO C3T Public Affairs/Right: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kevin P. Bell) EXPEDITIONARY TAC COMMS WIN-T NODE OPS 18 | Armor & Mobility | March/April 2017

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