Cover stories

Blue Force Tracking system’s next gen comes closer to real time

The Blue Force Tracking (BFT) system — only a few years ago a wonder of battlespace technology — is in the midst of an upgrade. BFT is a building block of operational awareness. It transmits the location of friendly forces via a satellite connection. Unlike the Enhanced Position Location Reporting System, another location-tracking system, BFT doesn’t rely on terrestrial line-of-sight transmissions for connectivity.

Battlespace awareness helps commanders hit targets

When Taliban insurgents nearly overran a U.S.-run outpost, air support was urgent and necessary. Military commanders in Afghanistan responded with 2,000-pound bombs, a Hellfire missile from an unmanned air system and other munitions. They monitored the battle on live video feeds by using the Persistent Surveillance and Dissemination System of Systems.

The digitized battlefield

If survivability is the major goal of any system designed to be carried by soldiers into combat, the Army’s Land Warrior system has demonstrated its qualifications.

Coast Guard stretches with Deepwater

After decades of using aging communications equipment and ships, the Coast Guard is attempting to create a comprehensive command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) system.

The future is slow to arrive

The Army's Future Combat Systems project is changing to meet criticisms and shifting priorities, but critics doubt the changes are coming soon enough to matter.

High Bandwidth

With mounting pressure for high-bandwidth connectivity for forces in the field, and concern about available satellite communications, a number of programs are seeking to revive an old technology — airships.

Shifting frequencies: The Joint Tactical Radio System is a key element in DOD’s shift to network-centric operations

The changes made in the JTRS radio program have changed the game of development and procurement of communications gear — and might have provided a new model for joint systems development

Following the Sun

The defense sector explores solar energy as a way to power field operations.

Defense Systems Update

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