Marines order communications units for Iraq operations

The Marine Corps Systems Command has awarded a $45.6 million contract to General Dynamics Corp. of Falls Church, Va., for 150 communications units under the Tactical Data Network Data Distribution System-Replacement (TDN DDS-R) program, according to company officials.

The communications equipment will provide deployed Marine forces with a modular, scalable Internet Protocol (IP) data transport capability for high-speed transfer of electronic data among users throughout a Marine Air Ground Task Force, similar to local- and wide-area networks created by businesses to share, transfer and store data and files.

'DDS-R provides the Marine Corps with the tactical communications technologies they need,' said John Martin, vice president and general manager of communication networks for General Dynamics C4 Systems, the division that received the order. 'The new equipment will simplify access to network data for warfighters on the ground and will be interoperable with existing equipment to protect the Marines' investments.'

TDN DDS, the existing system, provides a standardized suite of high-reliability automated data processing equipment and communication systems designed for use in a tactical environment. The TDN DDS-R will be a component of the overall Tactical Data Network and provides IP-based data routing, information processing and storage capabilities. The system, which includes rack-mounted computer equipment housed in portable transit cases, also provides an extension of the Defense Information System Network (DISN) Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet), as well as coalition and joint-forces networking capabilities.

Terms of the contract call for General Dynamics to design, integrate, test, produce and prepare associated documentation for DDS-R. The work is expected to be completed by March 2007.

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