Letter from JPEO Dennis Bauman

JTRS Program Review & Vision Guide

Introduction from the JPEO JTRS

BaumanIn today’s warfighting environment, it is essential that we, as Defense leaders, deliver advanced networking capabilities into the hands of our warfighters. 

The Department of Defense (DoD) has learned from the communications interoperability challenges observed during operations in Grenada, Panama and Desert Storm, and JTRS was envisioned to replace the multitude of non-interoperable, non-networked legacy radios in use throughout the Services.

Over time, this vision has evolved to encompass not just legacy radio functionality and point-to-point communications, but also the enabling of network centric warfare (NCW) through the use of advanced mobile, ad-hoc network-capable JTRS devices.  As a result, JTR sets are now being built to transmit, receive, route, and relay voice, data and video between our warfighters at the tactical edge of the battlefield, building a powerful network of soldiers, ground vehicles, sensors, ships and airborne platforms.  JTRS enables networking and Joint interoperability for the first time among all four DoD Services across the entire battlespace.  Further, JTRS is being built to accomplish this without external infrastructure and reliance on space-based assets. In today’s operating environment, with the U.S. military facing new tactical challenges and a more versatile and lethal enemy on the battlefield, it is critical that the DoD employs cutting-edge joint technologies that evolve and improve over time.  

JTRS is comprised of five programs of record targeted to meet the near term networking requirements for tactical ground, maritime and airborne platforms.  JTRS delivers true networking capability that not only “self-forms” and “self heals,” (i.e., units can automatically join the network and recover from network disruption) but also travels with the warfighters who need it most.  It connects the ground, the air, and the maritime with each other and with the Global Information Grid, dramatically improving decision superiority and battlespace flexibility.  Unlike cellular and other mobile devices that require extensive arrays of fixed-site towers, relay stations or complex satellite constellations in order for users to communicate seamlessly while on the move, JTRS allows for those functions to be done within each radio device.  This functionality is far beyond what a regular radio has ever had the ability to do, providing battlefield efficiency and a common operational picture for the tactical warfighter.  Without JTRS capabilities, tactical networking stops at the command center limiting the amount of information that can flow to or from the actual engagement.  With JTRS, our warfighters are being equipped with the necessary networking and communications capabilities to ensure their utmost safety and competitive advantage over their adversaries.

Several JTRS programs are on the cusp of delivery with two programs (MIDS JTRS and HMS Phase 1) reaching Milestone C’s and Low Rate Initial Production this Fall.   Taken together, JTRS capabilities provide a joint software defined radio foundation to flexibly adapt to emerging Irregular Warfare and High-end asymmetric threats.  Bottom line, JTRS provides a critical NCW capability that maximizes tactical situational awareness as well as enhancing warfighting platforms and hard-kill weapons systems.  

Dennis M. Bauman
Joint Program Executive Officer
Joint Tactical Radio System