With the progressive fielding of tactical radios capable of voice and data transfer, as well as dedicated data radios, the next step in the evolution of tactical command and control is the creation of a “tactical internet”, enabling combatants at all levels to exchange and access information from any connected source. [email protected], a mobile tactical internet developed by Thales, is an example of this type of network. Similar systems displayed at Eurosatory 06 included the digital networking system, based on the Israeli Army DAP developed by Elbit Systems and the new [email protected] system, developed by Tadiran Communications.
A new concept of integrating planning, rehearsal and operational control was demonstrated by EADS with the new APLET tactical engagement planning tool, which is intended for motorized and armored brigades and is interoperable with the French Forces’ SICF C3 system. The system simulates the structure and operations of French Army Battalions, enabling the Brigade staff to simulate a 24 hour operation ito fit into a 10 minute time frame.
Enabling personal communications and support of dismounted troops, SOLAR Personnel role radio, developed by Thales Land & Joint Systems Division is providing voice, data and video at rates of up to 1Mbps. The system uses waveform optimized for urban combat environments. Thales positions SOLAR as the heart of its wireless local area combat network, interfacing directly with battle management systems in their man portable or vehicular configurations.
Applications deployed over the “tactical internet” include BMS systems such as the new SIT-V1 demonstrated by GIAT Industries. The company has already delivered some 400 SIT systems to the French and UAE armies, and is set to begin deliveries of an additional 1,000 SIT V-1 systems to equip French Army tactical level combat units. Further improvements on the horizon will integrate SIT BMS with formations operating the FELIN dismounted infantry combat systems. Designated SIT COMDE, (FELIN BMS Dismounted Combat), the system relies on tactical radio networks, satellite navigation (GPS) and digital mapping to provide situational awareness for dismounted units. SIT COMDE uses a palm sized BMS to be employed by squad, and platoon leaders, to complement the vehicle’s BMS. When development is complete Sagem will deliver 1,500 SIT COMDE units, to equip squad and dismounted soldier (FELIN) group leaders, and 4,500 SITEL units, adapted for various vehicles operated by infantry, cavalry and combat engineering units.
As of early 2006, SIT is currently in service with 250 command vehicles deployed with the first two “digitized combined brigades”. According to plans, the delivery of a total 750 command vehicles will be completed by 2010.
Tadiran Spectralink introduced the new TARGET (Tactical Ruggedized Video Transmitter) to enable video and data transmissions for special operations forces. The miniature transmitter weighs only 140 grams and can operate continuously for 3 hours on its battery power. This device can be connected to a video camera carried on a miniature unmanned platform, a helmet mounted camera carried by a soldier or coupled into a sniper’s sight, to transfer the views to command elements to ranges up to 2,000 meters. Video signals can be received by standard remote video terminals, such as V-RAMBO, VTVR and TVL-II.