General Dynamics Tests Largest-Ever Army Information Network


General Dynamics has successfully tested the Warfighter information network - tactical (WIN-T) increment 2 on-the-move broadband military networking capability.

The test included building and operating a network comprising more than 35 network nodes. In a tactical environment, a network this size would support an army division and associated brigade, battalion and company elements.

Vice president of tactical networks for General Dynamics C4 Systems, Bill Weiss said that this was the largest network of its kind.

"We built and successfully tested the largest mobile network of its kind and we're on pace to start increment 2 limited user testing in March," said Weiss.

The WIN-T increment 2 system provides an environment in which commanders at all echelons will have the ability to manoeuvre anywhere on the battlefield and communicate and collaborate with warfighters, command posts and analytical centres at remote locations throughout the battle space.

During the testing period, various experiments also evaluated the maturity of technologies and components that comprise WIN-T increment 3, which will provide enhanced capabilities and information security using smaller, lighter, more power-efficient equipment.

General Dynamics C4 Systems is the prime systems integrator for WIN-T and is teamed with Lockheed Martin. The WIN-T team also includes BAE Systems, Harris Corporation, L-3 Communications and CISCO Systems.

The programme is organised into four major increments:

Increment 1 - the former joint network node, enhances existing joint networking and stationary satellite communications; more than half of the army's forces are equipped with WIN-T increment 1 and fielding will continue until increment 2 is ready.

Increment 2 - will deliver on-the-move broadband networking capability using satellite and radio links; initial fielding is scheduled during 2009.

Increment 3 - continues development of WIN-T components to enable increased network capacity, security and enhanced on-the-move capabilities combined with reductions in system size, weight and power requirements; limited user testing is scheduled for 2011.

Increment 4 - represents the last of the developmental programme elements; contract award is pending.

By Daniel Garrun.