Army buys rugged PCs for battle management

Army buys rugged PCs for battle management

The Army has awarded a $39.5 million contract to DRS Technologies Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., for ruggedized computers for the Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below program.

The rugged Appliqu' computers are installed on M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and run the FBCB2 troop and vehicle tracking application. The company will begin delivery of 4,000 Appliqu' systems early next year.

The Army's Blue Force Tracking initiative and the related FBCB2 use the same application software running under Sun Microsystems Solaris, but BFT uses ground-based radio links for communications and FBCB2 uses satellite transmissions. The systems display the location of friendly and enemy forces.

In June, the Army awarded DRS a five-year, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity production contract to provide FBCB2 systems. The contract is expected to net the company more than $100 million.

The Army's Communications-Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, N.J., placed the order.

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