General Dynamics to build more Marine ops centers

The General Dynamics C4 Systems division of business unit of General Dynamics said has received a $13.3 million contract modification from the U.S. Marine Corps System Command for 16 additional unit operation centers (UOCs). said the new UOCs are expected to be ready for deployment to Iraq by early 2006.

The order follows a December 2004 contract for 21 UOCs that also included funding for long-lead items for the 16 additional production units. All 37 recently ordered systems include engineering upgrades as a result of Iraqi combat operations feedback from Marine leadership. To date, General Dynamics has delivered 15 UOCs, eight of which are deployed in Iraq.

The UOCs are equipped with 12 computer stations, servers and touch-screen displays. They also incorporate voice-over IP technology to hook the command centers into tactical radio networks, saving the Marines from hauling bulky coaxial cable around in the field to handle needed to handle analog voice circuits from a command post to a remote tactical radio site.

Communications between the UOC and the remote tactical radio site is handled by a single fiber optic cable, with the voice traffic treated as just another form of IP communications. The UOCs are housed in tents and are field-deployable on one C-130 transport aircraft or two CH-53 helicopters,

“These latest orders are a clear indication that the UOC has become a critical component of the Marine Corps battlefield command and control network,” Manny Mora, vice president of Battle Management Systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems said in a statement.

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