Boeing delivers 6 more JTRS radios to FCS

The U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems program received a new batch of computer-like radios today. The radios are part of the Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio (JTRS GMR) program.

The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), sometimes referred to as 'Jitters', is a key part of the Defense Department's transformation agenda. It seeks to replace 750,000 existing legacy radios with 180,000 software-programmable tactical radios that will provide the warfighter a host of audio and visual communications and networking options.

'The GMR radios will bring networking to the battlefield in the form of new, secure capabilities that include the transmission/receipt of real-time information in voice and text, the ability to stream live video and audio, share maps, conduct networked meetings and use Voice over Internet Protocol,' Boeing said in its news release.

These six radios will bring the total of radios delivered to FCS to 27, with more deliveries expected this year.

FCS is the testing ground for the Army-led GMR series of radios, for use exclusively on ground vehicles. JTRS development had been divided into five separate 'Clusters,' each responsible for putting out different JTRS components. The GMR program emerged from what was formerly called Cluster One. But after DOD issued Boeing a stop-work order last year amidst complaints of slow development, the program was restructured based on an 'Incremental' approach.

From now on, development of JTRS will focus on producing a "family of software radios" comprised of ground radios, network enterprise radios, and airborne, maritime and fixed site radios, according to a March 31 acquisition decision memorandum.

Boeing serves as the lead on the JTRS GMR program and works with large aerospace subcontractors BAE Systems, Rockwell Collins, and Northrop Grumman.

The JTRS GMR is the key enabler for connectivity "On the Move" to the Global Information Grid, an essential multiplier to network centric warfare, according to DoD budget documents.

Limited production of GMR radios is scheduled for fiscal year 2010.

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