WIN-T – The Army’s Tactical Backbone

Part of the gear tested during NIE Exercises uses commercial, off the shelf systems, integrated into networks where available.

Part of the gear tested during NIE Exercises uses commercial, off the shelf systems, integrated into networks where available. This photo shows a company command post which is empowered by new capabilities provided by the WIN-T Increment 2 gear. Photo: US Army

In October 2012 the US Army embarked on an ambitious upgrade of its tactical command and control system, introducing new radios, networking and satellite communications systems to modernize the command and control layers of its infantry brigade combat teams.

The system enabling this service is the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T). WIN-T is the Army’s mobile battlefield network providing mission critical voice, video and data to soldiers. WIN-T Increment 1 is now fully deployed, provides soldiers with high speed, high capacity communications down to battalion level at the quick halt. It is now fully fielded to 210 active duty, reserve and National Guard units. The new WIN-T Increment 2 adds ‘Broadband on the move’ via networking radios, pushing network connectivity further to the company level, integrating situational awareness and enhancing Network Operations (NetOps) for network planning and monitoring.

WIN-T Increment 2 gear tested on an M-ATV during the Network Integration Evaluation exercise, 2011.

WIN-T Increment 2 gear tested on an M-ATV during the Network Integration Evaluation exercise, 2011. The radome mounted on the back of the vehicle houses the satellite communications antennae. Photo: US Army

Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) and its latest incremental upgrade known as Increment 2 (WIN-T Inc 2) are a central part of CS-13. It will also provide all Army units a common networking baseline layer, enabling full connectivity between units utilizing new generation systems (JTRS, AWN2, etc) and those that still rely on legacy systems (SINCGARS etc), allowing each unit to use its equipment with utmost efficiency and capacity.

General Dynamics C4 is currently supplying these sets for the Army under a $346 million contract awarded in October 2012. The first systems were delivered to two brigade combat teams and Division HQs of the 10th Mountain Division following a successful field evaluation during NIE 12.2 earlier this summer. The WIN-T Inc. 2 hub introduces high-speed communications, providing mission critical voice, video and data to support the lower echelons. “WIN-T Increment 2 has shown the value of high-speed communications for commanders who need robust, reliable communications and situational awareness,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems. “Commanders can now make faster, more informed decisions using real-time information while moving with their soldiers, rather than being tethered to command posts.”

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