Army taps DRS Technologies for battlefield computers

The Army has awarded $15 million in contracts to DRS Technologies to provide rugged Applique Computer Systems and peripheral equipment for the service's Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below program.

Under the contract, DRS Technologies of Parsippany, N.J, will provide computers for installation on the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The systems include the Army's Blue Force Tracking requirements for beyond-line-of-sight reporting and tracking, and will provide significant improvements in vertical and horizontal information integration for incorporation into the military's overall battlefield visualization efforts.

The new system will support Army and Marine Corps units engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Delivery of more than 1,150 Applique systems has begun and will continue through March 2006. 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, weapon and platform levels.

The system is 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 Army program is focused on developing a digital battle command information system designed to provide commanders, leaders and soldiers, from brigade to individual soldier and across all battlefield functional areas, with improved information for command and control and enhanced situational awareness.

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

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