Global Crossing, Northrop team on AF net

Global Crossing and Northrop Grumman are nearing the midpoint of a multiyear effort to deploy an Air Force network that connects bases for flight simulation training.

The companies are collaborating on the Air Force’s Distributed Mission Operations Network (DMON). Northrop Grumman manages DMON under an operations and integration contract. The integrator selected Global Crossing as a subcontractor in 2001 to provide Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) capability through its multiprotocol network backbone.

The companies recently completed linkages to two Air Force bases in Japan and one in Germany, bringing the total number of DMON training sites to 25. The companies plan to bring a total of 55 locations online by 2008.

Tom Kopko, engagement director for systems integrator alliances at Global Crossing, said DMON is intended to help the Air Force reduce training costs while still providing “a realistic training opportunity.” Simulation training, he added, “is on-demand, doesn’t require travel” and avoids the expense of using actual aircraft.

As the deployment continues, the companies will soon embark on a technology transition. DMON will move from ATM to a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) IP network.

Alan Rosenberg, global vice president of partnership development at Global Crossing, said MPLS will provide better scalability and improved performance.

In another partnering arrangement, Global Crossing and Northrop Grumman are among the members of the AT&T-led team pursing the General Services Administration’s $20 billion Networx procurement.

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