The US Army has awarded a contract to General Dynamics C4 Systems (GDC4S) to continue the engineering and development work for the warfighter information network-tactical (WIN-T) Increment 3 systems.
Valued at $96m, the first task order includes technology upgrades for WIN-T Increment 2, which is claimed to deliver a significant leap forward in network capacity, system reliability, robustness and ease of use.
The contract will have a maximum potential value of $475m, if all options are exercised.
General Dynamics C4 Systems president, Chris Marzilli, said the WIN-T Increment 3 ensures that the WIN-T systems keep benefiting troops operating in harm's way, while increasing the cost-effectiveness of the army's Increment 2 investments.
''Increment 3 will also deliver long-term cost savings by reducing the use of overburdened and expensive satellites, while improving the system's ease-of-use,'' Marzilli said.
Under the contract, the company will integrate an additional line-of-sight communications layer into Increment 2, which will thicken the WIN-T network using an unmanned aerial vehicle or other airborne platform to boost communications flexibility and capacity, critical to highly dispersed forces operating in isolated areas.
Designed to provide commanders with mission command on the move, the WIN-T Increment 2 represents a top priority of the army's modernisation plan, and is currently deployed with the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division soldiers in Afghanistan.
Both WIN-T Increment 2 and Increment 3 comprise the cornerstone of army's network modernisation strategy, which includes the AN/PRC-154A Rifleman and AN/PRC-155 two-channel manpack tactical radios, Nett Warrior, as well as mission command on-the-move capabilities, such as the command post of the future (CPOF).
Manufactured at GDC4S' facility in Taunton, Massachusetts, US, the WIN-T is the army's mobile battlefield network system, providing soldiers with mission critical voice, video and data to enhance battlefield awareness.
Image: the WIN-T Increment 2 system installed on a US Army vehicle during testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US. Photo: courtesy of Amy Walker.