WIN-T: US Army’s Connection to the Global InfoGridOct 10, 2012 18:25 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
As the Army’s tactical portion of the USA’s Global Information Grid (GIG) network, WIN-T is designed to help deployed forces tap into that global network and its databases, collectors, and connections to national agencies. At present, this requires multiple private networks, or outright forward deployment of representatives from the agencies in question. If it can be done at all.
WIN-T has absorbed the program formerly known as the Joint Network Node, and another 3 fielding increments will gradually add key capabilities to the system. Increment 1 is widely fielded, Increment 2 is in production, and R&D contracts are beginning to flesh out Increment 3.
WIN-T’s Growth: Incremental Change
WIN-T Increment 1 provides soldiers access to the GIG while stationary, and used to be known as the Joint Node Network. It lets small platoons on the ground communicate with the rest of the world, something they couldn’t do in the past.
The JNN-N/ WIN-T-1 node consists of vehicles and shipping containers (the Joint Network Node, the Battalion Command Post Node, the Ku SATCOM trailer and the Hub Node) equipped with systems that provide voice over IP, dynamic IP, videoconferencing and access to the military’s classified and unclassified networks. The US Army likes the idea of using commercially available Ku-band satellites via an integrated suite of state-of-the-art baseband, switching and termination equipment. Commercial Ku-band SATCOM offers performance and availability advantages that include higher throughput rates, as well as the ability to upgrade many of the fielded Ku-band terminals to Ka-band used by the military’s own Wideband Global SATCOM.
Increment One is being used by more than half of the Army worldwide, including troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to prime contractor General Dynamics.
WIN-T Increment 2, which General Dynamics is also under contract to provide, is designed to provide connectivity on the move. Integrating SATCOM, line-of-sight and terrestrial signal types, the “self healing” WIN-T increment 2 is designed to provide high-bandwidth connectivity that can automatically switch as between ground-based and satellite connections. For example, if a commander is moving into a city, which begins blocking line-of-sight signals, the system automatically connects to SATCOM.
WIN-T Increment 3 introduces an airborne network node to act as a relay, increased network reliability and capacity; and smaller, more tightly integrated communications and networking gear for the field.
WIN-T Increment 4, the last of the WIN-T developmental program elements, is a pending contract award.
General Dynamics C4 Systems leads a WIN-T team that includes Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Harris Corporation, L-3 communications, and networking rivals Juniper Networks and Cisco Systems.
Contracts and Key Events
Accordingly, General Dynamics C4 Systems receives a $346 million delivery order to buy more sets for Brigade Combat Teams and Division Headquarters units. Most production for the WIN-T Increment 2 system takes place at General Dynamics C4 Systems’ facility in Taunton, MA, with components from a variety of suppliers that include veteran-owned and small businesses in 28 states. GDC4S.
Oct 1/12: WIN-T-2. Initial fielding of the WIN-T Increment 2 network as a key component of Capability Set 13 begins at Ft. Drum, NY, and Ft. Polk, LA. Two brigades of the 10th Mountain Division begin their training using previously procured equipment. Source.
March 30/12: SAR The Pentagon’s Selected Acquisitions Report ending Dec 31/11 includes…
“Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 3 – Program costs decreased $1,600.4 million (-10.0%) from $16,055.9 million to $14,455.5 million, due primarily to a decrease in hardware costs reflecting fewer quantities of high cost Configuration Items being procured and a change in the mix of Configuration Items being procured (-$1,809.1 million) and a decrease of 123 nodes from 3,168 to 3,045 due to the removal of the requirement to replace Increment 2 hardware with Increment 3 hardware (-$291.4 million). There were additional decreases resulting from the descoping of the 4-channel Joint Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (JC4ISR) radio and antenna (-$287.2 million) and a decrease in systems engineering, program management, and spares costs due to compression of the procurement schedule by two years from FY 2026 to FY 2024 (-$262.4 million). These decreases were partially offset by a net increase in other support costs due to increased annual software license costs and the retrofit of the JC4ISR radios and antennas (+$383.8 million), an increase in hardware estimates for the Satellite Tactical Terminal-High Powered and Highband Radio Frequency Unit-Multiband Terrestrial antenna (+$352.6 million), and the application of revised escalation indices (+$325.6 million).”
SAR – WIN-T reductions
Jan 17/12: DOT&E testing. The Pentagon releases the FY 2011 Annual Report from its Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E). WIN-T is included, but only tangentially:
“The Army conducted a combined WIN-T Increment 2 and Increment 1b Limited User Test at Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Lewis, Washington; and Fort Gordon, Georgia, in March 2009. DOT&E assessed the WIN-T Increment 2 as supportive of voice, video, and data communications. However, the network needs improvement in the following areas:
- Ability to support on the move communications
- Training provided to Soldiers due to complexity of the system
- Speed of communication due to network routing
- Network Operations Management
- Information Assurance”
Nov 18/11: The US Army is evaluating its latest build of field networking equipment, after the 3-week NIE 12.1 event. The spring 2012 event will test NIE 13, which will include the new WIN-T Increment 2 gear.
May 10/11: Lockheed Martin announces a $105 million contract from General Dynamics C4 Systems, for more WIN-T Increment 2 components. Lockheed Martin will deliver transmission subsystem radios, modems, antennas, and mast systems, which will be integrated into a variety of combat vehicle platforms.
Integrating SATCOM, line-of-sight and terrestrial signal types, the “self healing” WIN-T increment 2 is designed to provide high-bandwidth, on-the-move connectivity which can dynamically switch between terrestrial and satellite sources, depending on the terrain.
April 15/11: The Pentagon’s Selected Acquisitions Report ending Dec 30/10 includes “significant” program cost change for WIN-T Increments 1 & 2:
“Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 1 – Program costs increased $468.1 million (+12.2 percent) from $3,835.0 million to $4,303.1 million, due primarily to a quantity increase of 83 communications nodes from 1,777 to 1,860 communications nodes (+$119.5 million) and an increase in other support costs for modification work (+$477.4 million), partially offset by a decrease in the estimating costs for a volume discount due to the quantity increase (-$129.8 million).
WIN-T Increment 2 – Program costs increased $1,354.8 million (+27.1 percent) from $4,997.8 million to $6,352.6 million, due primarily to a quantity increase of 630 communications nodes from 2,216 to 2,846 communications nodes (+$983.4 million) and a resulting increase in other support costs due to an additional year of procurement and the refinement of the fielding schedule (+$476.6 million). There are additional increases in the cost of government furnished software due to the transfer in procurement responsibility from the contractor to the government (+$89.5 million) and in non-recurring production costs due to additional platforms requiring integration (e.g., the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle) (+$62.3 million). These increases are partially offset by reductions in contract costs due to definitized prices, quantity lot discounts, and a decrease in actual contract hardware costs (-$272.8 million).”
SAR – WIN-T-2 grows
March 16/11: WIN-T-2 General Dynamics C4 systems announces $295.8 million in WIN-T Increment 2 delivery orders, to equip 5 additional brigade combat teams (BCTs).
The US Army has now ordered Increment 2 systems for a total of 8 BCTs under a 3-year contract that was awarded in March 2010 (vid. April 5/10 entry).
Aug 2/10: Sub-contractors. General Dynamics awards Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to $400 million to provide communications hardware and equipment for the WIN-T Increment 2 transmission subsystem, which will enable the network to transfer data over dispersed areas. Equipment produced will include transmission subsystem radios, modems, antennas and mast systems. The initial award is valued at $71 million.
July 21/10: Testing. General Dynamics C4 Systems touts a recent 4-day U.S. Army Brigade Combat Team Integration exercise at White Sands Missile Range, NM. Its 7 realistic mission scenarios included WIN-T and JTRS radio systems, allowing widely dispersed Army units to exchange command-and-control messages, location information, voice, electronic chat and imagery while on the move.
May 13/10: WIN-T-3. General Dynamics C4 Systems announces a $12.4 million contract modification to develop a line-of-sight communications payload for the MQ-1C Extended Range/Multi-purpose (ER/MP) UAV to serve as a communication relay on the WIN-T Increment 3 network.
The payload will use the Highband Networking Waveform (HNW) to serve as a line-of-sight radio repeater while the UAS is in flight, which is especially useful to troops in urban environments, or other rugged terrain that block level line of sight.
April 5/10: General Dynamics C4 Systems in Taunton, MA received a $164 million firm-fixed-price contract for WIN-T Increment 2 low-rate production, urgent 1st order, for the procurement of equipment for 3 brigade combat teams, 1 division headquarters, 4 regional hub nodes, and one base equipment complement to support the initial operational test and evaluation for WIN-T Increment 2.
Work is to be performed in Taunton, MA with an estimated completion date of June 30/10. The equipment then will undergo formal testing during 2011, culminating in an Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in November 2011. One sole-source bid was solicited by the CECOM Acquisition Center in Fort Monmouth, NJ (W15PT-10-D-C007).
This 3-year contract has a total potential value of $2.8 billion, if all options are exercised. See also GDC4S release.
Increment 2 begins
June 5/09: WIN-T. General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies receives a $119 million modification to an existing delivery order (W15P7T-06-D-L219) to provide satellite communications earth terminals and support services for Increment One of the US Army’s WIN-T program.
Under the contract, General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies will provide 293 satellite transportable terminals (STT), 6 unit hub SATCOM trucks (UHST) and 534 Ka-band upgrade kits and spares.
General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies’ work is being performed under an existing World Wide Satellite Systems delivery order, managed by the WIN-T program manager’s Commercial Satellite Terminal Program in Ft. Monmouth, NJ. This modification to the existing delivery order brings the contract’s total value to $378 million for 956 STTs and 17 UHSTs, which represent approximately half of the hardware quantities available on the 4-year program.
April 6/09: WIN-T-2. General Dynamics announces that the US Army’s 4th Brigade – 2nd Infantry Division in Fort Lewis, WA, and 3rd Infantry Division in Fort Stewart, GA completed a limited user test of WIN-T Increment 2. A General Dynamics-led team supported the testing, during which soldiers from the 2 units planned and executed multiple missions, sharing command and control information from the command post down to the company level using WIN-T.
March 4/09: WIN-T-2. A General Dynamics-led team completes a developmental testing of the WIN-T Increment 2 on-the-move broadband networking capability. The test included building and operating a network comprising more than 35 network nodes. In a tactical environment, a network this size would support an Army division and associated brigade, battalion and company elements.
Nov 3/08: General Dynamics C4 Systems announces delivery of the first WIN-T Increment 1 equipment to the US Army. Increment 1 builds on the former Joint Network Node-Network (JNN) and provides soldiers with a high-capacity communications network when they are stopped.
On schedule deliveries of WIN-T Increment 1 to the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) at Ft. Lewis, WA, includes networking hubs, network management suites and network nodes. The equipment serves battalion, brigade and division/corps command posts and Expeditionary Signal Battalions.
1st WIN-T delivery
- General Dynamics – WIN-T
- General Dynamics (June 5/09) – General Dynamics to Boost Military Satellite Communications Capacity with $119 Million Army WIN-T Satellite Terminal Award
- Global Security – Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T)
- US Army 2008 Posture Statement, Information Papers – Warfighter Information Network-Tactical
- C4ISR Journal (Sept 1/08) – Incremental improvement: Keeping tabs on U.S. Army’s reborn tactical network
- DID (May 23/06) – Platoon-Level IP: $73M to Datapath for Joint Network Node Support
- DID – Taming the UAV Data Explosion