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WIN-T -Warfighter's Information Network - Tactical

WIN-T is the Army's on-the-move, high-speed, high-capacity backbone communications network, linking warfighters on the tactical ground units with commanders and the Global Information Grid, the U.S. Dept. of Defense's worldwide network- centric information system. WIN-T is a critical enabler of LandWarNet, the Army's far-reaching effort to transform into joint, network-centric, knowledge-based warfare; the network provides a clear operational picture for theater combatant commanders by using true satellite on-the-move capabilities, robust network management and high-bandwidth radio systems to keep mobile forces connected, communicating and synchronized.

The $10 billion WIN-T program is under development by Team Matrix. Prime contractor is General Dynamics leading a team including Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Harris Corporation, L-3 Communications and Cisco Systems.

The first Army unit is scheduled to field WIN-T by 2008, replacing the Mobile Subscriber Unit system. WIN-T provides secure, high-speed, high capacity backbone for the objective force C2. The network will expand the bandwidth and networking capability available to mobile users, from theater to battalion level and below. With WIN-T, commanders will be able to maintain constant battlefield situational awareness on-the-move, and will be able to better synchronize their combat power. The environment established with WIN-T will enable commanders at all echelons to collaborate, operating with 'virtual staff' and analytical centers operated at remote locations throughout the battlespace. Unlike most current military networks, WIN-T will offer seamless interoperability with other networks, including legacy, joint, coalition and even commercial networks, utilizing all available links to support the warfighters anywhere on the globe. The system will utilize commercially available elements and will be able to integrate with existing systems as well as and new, with dedicated systems designed specifically for the military.

Due to the system's configuration and adaptability, WIN-T is expected to support high maneuverability of the forces, with full on-the-move, broadband communications capability. The system supports dynamic bandwidth allocation with satellite communications on-the-move implemented with self-healing, self-forming network. The system will comprise standard elements such as wireless networks supporting voice over IP (VOIP) communications, with support quality of service (QOS) functionality, over IPv4 and IPv6. THE SYSTEM SUPPORTS information assurance and dissemination technologies, mobile computing, and will integrate the new Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS), personal communication devices and small satellite links. All network elements are designed for C-130 aircraft deployment and for rapid activation after landing.

By December 2005 the system demonstrated key capabilities such as on-the-move networking over terrestrial (line of sight) and satellite (non-line of sight) links; voice-, video- and data-over-IP; self-healing network properties; satellite tracking and adaptive signal retrieval; network operations with real-time situational awareness; network security; secure cellular communications, and; collaboration tools reaching from commanders to foot soldiers.

In January 2008 WIN-T passed an important field test last month, as General Dynamics C4 Systems and teammate Lockheed Martin have successfully completed the engineering field test and preliminary design review for Increment Two phase of the WIN-T system. The new system provides a mobile broadband network extending the functionality, tools and collaboration used in stationary command post to forward elements on-the-move. WIN-T Increment Two fielding is scheduled to begin in 2009 following the completion of a limited user tests scheduled for 2008. Increment Three includes development of WIN-T components to meet the full range of network capacity, security and fully on-the-move capabilities for the modular force, with limited user testing scheduled to begin in 2011. Increment Three also addresses the size, weight, power and cooling requirements for systems in Future Combat Systems vehicles. WIN-T Increment Four represents the last of the developmental program elements and will provide technology insertions to enable enhanced satellite communications protection and greater throughput afforded by transformational communications satellites.

The recent tests evaluated the new network centric waveform developed for WIN-T, which enables mobile platforms to access the WIN-T network; the Highband Networking Waveform, a wideband, wireless wide area networking capability; and the WIN-T Network Management System, which uses commercial-standard network and systems management protocols and interfaces to provide the necessary automation to keep mobile forces networked. Increment Two Network Management System uses Increment One building blocks, adds features to enable network mobility and manages the entire tactical network enterprise.

The test was followed by the preliminary design review, a detailed analysis of the system design to determine that it meets the documented performance and engineering requirements, was conducted in Foxboro, Mass.