General Dynamics C4 Systems (GDC4S) has demonstrated the ability of its fourth-generation long-term evolution (4G LTE) wireless broadband network to expand the capability of US Army tactical networks, including the warfighter information network-tactical (WIN-T).
The demonstration was undertaken in collaboration with the US Army’s communications-electronics Centre of the Research, Development and Engineering Command at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, US.
The 4G LTE network was used by soldiers to take pictures and gather information using their smartphones, and then subsequently transmit the data back to their commanders, who were also tracking their position and location on vehicle-mounted displays.
GDC4S president Chris Marzilli said: "Among other advantages, the General Dynamics’ secure wireless broadband network can give soldiers greater access to mission intelligence using their smartphone or tablet computer, which is a significant capability leap for soldiers.
"Our 4G LTE technology is mature and already used successfully in public safety networks in Colorado and New Mexico and will, if needed, provide the vital connectivity among US Army personnel and public safety professionals responding to a disaster or other event, where interoperability among organisations is critical."
The broadband network also sent and received intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data from multiple sensors around the demonstration area to network-equipped vehicles, simulated operations and command centres.
Ideally suited for military and public safety organisations, the 4G LTE network comprises the eNodeBlue, which performs like an LTE base station, and the evolved packet core.
The packet core forms the network’s architecture and network radio nodes that are placed in vehicles, on structures and any location seeking network, thereby delivering secure, high-speed broadband connectivity.
Available in three increments, WIN-T is the army’s mobile battlefield network system, providing soldiers with mission critical voice, video and data.
The system, along with the AN/PRC-155 manpack and AN/PRC-154A Rifleman radios, as well as the company’s cyber-defence solutions and mission command software, connects soldiers at all levels to the army’s secure backbone communications network.
Image: The WIN-T Increment 2 tactical communications node on a vehicle at White Sands Missile Range, US. Photo: courtesy of Claire Heininger, US Army.