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Army Asks For Help Closing Holes In Network Strategy

Posted by Carlo Munoz on

Washington: The Army is looking for industry solutions to close unexpected gaps in its new combat network system.

In a notice sent out to defense firms late last week, Army officials ran down the litany of “capability gaps” uncovered as part of the service’s effort to build a new communications network for its ground units.

Analysts at the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command identified these gaps, based on information gathered during the latest round of Network Integration Evaluation trials, held in June, Army spokesman Paul Mehney said.

Unsurprisingly, at the top of that list was need for a new multichannel radio. Last week, the Army killed its version of the Joint Tactical Radio System and kicked off a competition for a replacement.

The Army also requested industry help in developing a “tactical” router to help support the network, as well as options for “improved operational energy” sources to help power it it all, according to the industry solicitation.

The Army plans to test industry-provided solutions to these capability gaps during the next NIE, scheduled for November at the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, he added.

Information taken from the last round of network trials led to the cancellation of the Army JTRS radio, service acquisition chief Heidi Shyu told attendees at the U.S. Army Association’s annual conference last week.

On the positive side, The Army was also able to take the lessons learned from that previous NIE and refine its NettWarrior system.

As a result of information gleaned from the June network tests, the Army completely revamped NettWarrior, adopting a smartphone-like system using a secure version of the Android operating system.

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