Boeing delivers 6 more JTRS radios to FCS

The Army’s Future Combat Systems program has received a new batch of computer-like radios. The six radios, delivered May 30, are part of the Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio (JTRS GMR) program.

JTRS is a principal part of the Defense Department’s transformation agenda. It seeks to replace 750,000 existing radios with 180,000 software-programmable tactical radios that will provide soldiers a host of audio and visual communications and networking options.

The radios will transmit and receive real-time voice and text information. They will be able to stream live video and audio, share maps, conduct networked meetings and use voice-over-IP capabilities, according to Boeing.

The new devices will bring the total of radios delivered to FCS to 27, with more deliveries expected this year.

FCS is the testing ground for the Army-led GMR series of radios, for use exclusively on ground vehicles. JTRS development had been divided into five separate clusters, each responsible for producing different JTRS components. The GMR program emerged from the former Cluster 1 unit. But after DOD issued Boeing a stop-work order last year because of complaints about slow development, the program was restructured based on an incremental approach.

From now on, JTRS developers will focus on producing a family of software radios comprised of ground radios; network enterprise radios; and airborne, maritime and fixed-site radios, according to a March 31 acquisition decision memo.

Boeing is the lead JTRS GMR contractor and works with large aerospace subcontractors BAE Systems, Rockwell Collins and Northrop Grumman.

JTRS GMR is the primary enabler for mobile connectivity to the Global Information Grid, an essential piece of network-centric warfare, according to DOD budget documents.

Limited production of GMR radios is scheduled for fiscal 2010.

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