Army enlists DRS Technologies for battlefield computer work

The Army has awarded DRS Technologies Inc a $45.5 million contract to provide rugged Applique Computer Systems and peripheral equipment for the service's Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below program, the company has announced.

Under the contract, DRS Technologies of Parsippany, N.J., will provide computer systems for installation on M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

These systems will support the Army's Blue Force Tracking requirements for beyond-the-line-of-sight reporting and tracking, and will provide significant improvements in vertical and horizontal information integration for better battlefield visualization.

The systems are intended to support lower-echelon battle command tactical mission requirements, such as real-time situational awareness, target identification and graphical combat area displays. The situational awareness component will collectively display the geographical location of all weapons, platforms, soldiers, command posts and other facilities, and will be used in conjunction with the Army's Tactical Internet.

The new systems will support Army and Marine Corps units engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The company announced in September that it had won a $15 million contract for similar work.

Delivery of more than 5,500 Applique systems will begin in January 2006 and continue throughout the year. The system incorporates the latest developments in digital information processing and networking to provide improved combat support, real-time command and control capabilities, enhanced interoperability and situational awareness throughout the force structure at the soldier, weapons and platform levels.

Ethan Butterfield is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

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