Army buys more network gear

Army officials last week awarded a $24.9 million contract to Datapath to purchase satellite communications trucks and trailers for the Joint Network Node.

Officials at the Army's Communications-Electronics Command started the solicitation on Dec. 10. Datapath officials should complete work under the contract by Feb. 28, according to a Dec. 28 Defense Department contracts' statement.

The Joint Network Node (JNN) consists of vehicles and shipping containers equipped with systems that provide voice over IP, dynamic IP, videoconferencing and access to the military's classified and unclassified networks for commanders at their headquarters and soldiers operating in smaller units in the field. JNN powers the Army's new Joint Network Transport Capability that relies on IP, satellites and commercial products to provide more mobile communications and greater access to logistics and intelligence data.

When soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division return to Iraq this month, JNN will drastically improve how they send and receive war-fighting information. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrated to Army officials that they need a system that provides communications for soldiers when they fight out of sight of one another.

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