Motorola, Sun to work on Army's next-generation architecture

Motorola Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. have teamed up to develop a next-generation architecture for Army command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems based on Sun's Java and Jini technology.

The Army currently operates its tactical C4I systems on hardware running the Sun version of Unix. The new Motorola/Sun partnership plans to use Jini — a technology that easily interconnects disparate network devices — to tie together various pieces of hardware in the Army's battlefield systems. The companies say the new Army C4I architecture — dubbed Openwings — could greatly reduce the size and complexity of future Army tactical operations centers, which currently feature numerous computers and devices managing and running various applications.

Openwings will take advantage of both the cross-platform functionality of Sun's Java software and the networking capabilities of Jini. Thomas Kreidler, president of Sun Microsystems Federal, said Jini technology will allow next-generation C4I networks to function as an efficient mobile computer system that will give commanders "a clear operational advantage on the battlefield."

Mark Fried, vice president and general manager of Motorola's Integrated Systems Division, said incorporation of Jini technology into Army C4I systems will make it easier "to get the right information into the hands of the right soldiers at the right place at the right time."

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