Army to test new ground combat systems

Hardware slated for OT&E in 2011, deployment to Afghanistan in 2012

In 2011, the Army will test and evaluate new ground combat systems built by a Boeing-led team as part of Brigade Combat Team Modernization Increment One. The new systems are slated for initial operational test and evaluation in 2011 and deployment to Afghanistan in 2012.

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Boeing began delivering the new hardware in November and will continue making deliveries through the second quarter of 2011, company officials said Dec. 6. The new equipment is part of a low-rate initial production contract that Boeing received in February for the first brigade set of BCTM Increment 1 capabilities.

Specifically, the Boeing-led team furnished the Army with Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and Humvees equipped with network integration kits and also unattended ground sensors and unmanned ground vehicles, the officials said.

The BCTM Increment 1 capabilities are intended to boost the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of brigade combat teams. The new capabilities also are designed to enhance their ability to survive and prevail over enemy forces on the battlefield.

The new hardware includes:

  • Network Integration Kit. An integrated computer system that hosts advanced communications and radio systems and battle command software and provides the initial network connectivity necessary to transfer sensor and communication data.
  • Small unmanned ground vehicle. A robotic system designed to conduct reconnaissance missions in dangerous or difficult conditions such as buildings, caves and tunnels.
  • Class I Unmanned Air Vehicle. A small solder-operated unmanned aerial vehicle capable of gathering reconnaissance and surveillance information and providing target acquisition data.
  • Unattended Ground Sensor. A multimode surveillance sensor for target detection, location and classification, which is equipped with imaging technology for identification purposes.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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