U.S. Army: $2.3M to GD for handheld battle command capability

The U.S. Army has awarded General Dynamics C4 Systems a $2.3 million contract to provide a prototype, hand held system (GD300_datasheet here) that will enable unprecedented network connectivity and increased command, control and situational awareness for dismounted soldiers and Marines. Two companies received contracts as part of the U.S. Army’s Joint Battle Command – Platform (JBC-P) Handheld program.

General Dynamics C4 Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics. One of several Joint Battle Command initiatives, JBC-P Handheld Battle Command (HBC) focuses on delivering handheld devices that communicate over government-furnished communication networks. The devices give dismounted warfighters enhanced levels of battlefield awareness including the opportunity to visualize information that might not otherwise be available such as maps and real-time position location information.

For its prototype design, General Dynamics will provide the rugged, eight-ounce GD300 tactical computer that hosts an ‘apps-friendly’ operating system. Designed to provide dismounted users with situational awareness of events, people and structures, along with chat and texting capabilities, the GD300 also delivers position location information and access to popular military software ‘apps’ like the Tactical Intelligence Ground Reporting (TIGR) system. When connected to a ‘networked device’ such as the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) Rifleman radio (AN/PRC-154) or the Iridium satellite communications handset, users will be able to make voice, video or data contact whether in close proximity or miles apart.

“This win brings our vision of ‘every soldier connected to the network’ closer to reality. With the capabilities of the rugged GD300, combined with mission command applications like TIGR, soldiers and Marines will have the information they need to accomplish their mission more effectively,” said Kevin Merrigan, vice president of Battle Management Systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems.

Initial deliveries are scheduled for September 2011 when General Dynamics expects to deliver 40 prototype handheld devices for user evaluation and feedback. During the second phase of the program, up to 250 JBC-P interoperable handheld devices may be purchased as part a contract option. The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. is the contracting authority for the handheld device development effort.

Source : General Dynamics Corporation

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